Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has called on the Executive to do more to tackle the rise in child poverty levels in the North.
The West Belfast MLA said:
“A number of recent reports have indicated that poverty levels here are on the increase.
“Average income levels have decreased overall in the past three years and when poverty levels are measured against this you would normally expect there to be a narrowing of the gap but it has in fact widened.
“There are particular sectors where the increase in poverty levels are more marked and this is the case in child poverty levels which witnessed a 4% increase over a one year period.
“Child poverty cannot be seen in isolation of the overall poverty that affects families. We all know the impact that poverty can have on a child’s life chances and there will never be equality of opportunity for all children unless we tackle poverty and disadvantage.
“It is clear that while there is good work being done it isn't enough and there needs to be a fresh look at how we can tackle the problem.”