Budget cuts and austerity remain the price of the union – Maskey
Sinn Féin Anti-Poverty and Welfare Spokesperson, Alex Maskey MLA, has noted the findings of the annual ‘Northern Ireland Households Below Average Income’ report, which this year points to a reduction in child poverty.
The report, which also indicates a rise in average income, highlights a reduction in absolute and relative poverty across several social groups including children, working age adults and pensioners.
Alex Maskey said:
“While the report notes a reduction in poverty in our society, the serious and stubborn levels of deprivation in the north are unacceptable.
“Long term trends point to an increasing likelihood that children are at a higher risk of poverty than the rest of society. Lone parents and pensioners continue to suffer, too, with long-term poverty.
“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.
“For too long this part of Ireland has suffered from lack of investment, savage welfare cuts, and economic under-development.
“Sinn Fein will continue to work with all departments to tackle poverty and disadvantage, however without an end to Tory cuts and devolution of the necessary fiscal powers it will not be possible to maintain the downward trend in poverty figures.
“It should be increasingly clear to all that budget cuts, austerity, and stubborn levels of poverty are the price of the Union."