Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Report demands greater targeting of resources and concerted action to eliminate poverty

13 October, 2003

Sinn Féin Equality Spokesperson, Upper Bann representative, Dr Dara O‚Hagan commenting of the publication of a Queens‚ University Report into Poverty has said that this provides yet more evidence that we have failed to deal with the issue of poverty.

Dr O'Hagan said:

"In the last number of weeks there have been a series of reports highlighting the simple stark fact that we have failed to deal with the

issue of poverty. The Low Income Households report from OFMDFM highlighted the fact that particularly for the elderly, lone parents and children the situation was deteriorating, then in a consultation document on fuel poverty it was revealed that over 1300 pensioners die each year from the cold and today's report confirming that 37% of our children grow up in poverty show that we must deal with issue of poverty much more seriously.

"The levels of poverty that we are witnessing today, in both relative and absolute terms, are totally unacceptable. They are the result of the total and absolute failure of government policy to take this issue seriously and of insufficient resources.

"Either we decide today that eradicating poverty is a priority that collectively we share responsibility for achieving or we admit failure. These levels of poverty particularly amongst the most vulnerable in out society, the elderly, the young are not acceptable. We must all ask ourselves why and how the situation has been allowed get so bad." ENDS

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