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International Day - Eradication of Poverty

17 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality spokesperson Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said more needs to be done to eradicate poverty.

Her comments come on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Ms Anderson said:

"I fully support the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Days like this are very important to promote awareness for the need to help eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries. We also need to highlight the hidden aspect of poverty and social exclusion that is affecting many households across the North.

"It is very worrying that of all the Local Government Districts (LGDs) people living in the Derry area are most at risk of being on low income and that over 50% of North's population having incomes of less than £300 per week after housing costs.

"Levels of poverty here are higher than in Britain. Incomes are 85% of the British average and one in four households couldn't afford to heat their home properly - in 2004, 24% or 150,000 households were in fuel poverty. This is twice as high as the worst region in England.

"Almost 100,000 children are living in income poverty. It is a damming indictment of the criminal failures of British Labour government policy over many years. Inequality and poverty emerge as influential factors in determining the experiences of our children and young people.

"As a society we must wage war on inequality, poverty and social exclusion. We must see the implementation of an anti-poverty strategy to help ensure that socio-economic rights are protected in the North." ENDS

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