11,000 Children in the Derry area living in poverty
Sinn Féin Equality and human rights spokesperson, Foyle MLA Martina Anderson responding to the latest report by Save the Children, which said the North was entering a critical phase in tackling the problem of Child poverty and the devastating impact it has on health and education has said that tackling child poverty is a priority for Sinn Féin.
Ms Anderson said:
"Now that the institutions are up and running there is a huge task ahead for us as politicians. We will be dealing with a wide range of issues and tackling child poverty will be one of them. Every indicator of poverty and social exclusion shows the situation in the North is worse than in Britain.
"In the Derry area nearly 11,000 children are living in child poverty .Cleary the issues and needs of children in the most affected electoral wards needs to tackled. There needs to be a root and branch change in the way this is looked at. Its disturbing that in a recent report there was a child poverty rating of 50% in 20 out of the 30 wards in the Derry City council area.
"Levels of poverty here are higher than in Britain. Incomes are 85% of the British average and one in four households cannot 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. On top of this we have an academic selection education system that is failing our young people and huge health inequalities. 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." ENDS