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Child Poverty needs more than lip service

24 November, 2004

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast and spokesperson of anti-poverty Kathy Stanton has stated that there needs to be urgent action to tackle the severe levels of child poverty in the north of Ireland and that the British Government need to stop paying lip service to the issue.

Speaking today Ms Stanton said:

"The British government are currently only paying lip service to the urgent need to move against child poverty. With one hand they state they have developed anti-poverty strategies while on the other they are severely compounding the problem.

"On a raft of issues we are seeing government cutbacks. Education Boards are having budgets cut, childcare facilities are being reduced and the government body, Invest Northern Ireland, are offering investors one of the cheapest markets for labour in the Western Europe. Further to this new charges, including increased Rates and water taxation will add to the burden.

"Report after report is highlighting that there is endemic child poverty in the north of Ireland, with figures far above anywhere in Britain, yet the British government are not providing the resource that are need to tackle and eradicate this scourge.

"All of these issues are driving more and more people into poverty but in particular it is placing those most vulnerable in our society into a poverty trap where ultimately children will be the most affected."ENDS

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