Concern over child poverty

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‘Tory cuts and benefits freezes have plunged one quarter of the North’s children into poverty’ - that was the message from Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd.

Speaking following the publication of a report by Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd said:

“That one quarter of the North’s children live in poverty and below the breadline is unacceptable. For years now there have been successive cuts to public services and benefits by a Tory government wedded to austerity.

“There has been a reduction in child poverty as outlined by the findings of the annual ‘Northern Ireland Households Below Average Income’.

The significant mitigations in welfare cuts secured by Sinn Féin have been cited as a possible reason in the reduction in poverty, which is not matched by poverty figures in Britain.

“However it is worrying that as we face more Tory cuts, this time backed by the DUP, the hard work to tackle poverty may be undone.

“In Upper Bann alone – after housing costs - over 20% of children are living in poverty. That is more than 7,000 children. This is inexcusable. Continued Tory austerity and the maintaining of the benefits freeze despite rising prices needs to end immediately. We owe that much to our future generation.”