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Child poverty statistics reinforce importance of Sinn Fein’s Equality Agenda

15 May, 2007

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA Claire McGill has said that the latest report by 'Save the Children' which shows 35% of children in the constituency living in child poverty, an unenviable statistic which is second only to the Foyle Constituency with a level of 36%, demands that Targeting Social Need underpins every decision of the re-established institutions.

Claire McGill who is the party's spokesperson on poverty issues and a member of the Assembly's Social Development Committee said:

"In relative terms, child poverty levels in the six counties are disproportionately higher than they are in Britain, with children in the Foyle and West Tyrone constituencies at the top of the child poverty league. Child poverty indicators not only include material deprivation but also deprivation in terms of health and educational opportunities.

"The areas where levels of child poverty are greatest are a mirror reflection of the areas of the greatest multi-deprivation in the six counties and the issue of child poverty cannot be tackled in isolation without tackling the structural inequality that has historically and continues to exist in the six counties and border counties.

"We are determined that Sinn Féin's Equality Agenda is brought to the very heart of the decision making process within all of the re-established institutions, including the All-Ireland institutions.

"The legacy of inequality in this part of Ireland has once again been highlighted through these Child Poverty statistics and inequality can only be addressed if Targeting Social Need becomes the primary statutory obligation of government north and south and not merely an issue that has to be merely considered as part of wider decision making processes." ENDS

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