‘Government must keep poverty promise’ - Anderson
All levels of government must do more to end the 'scandal' of child poverty here, Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said.
Ms. Anderson was speaking following an event at Stormont on Tuesday when children's charities urged the Assembly and the British Government to honour their commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
"Across the North, around 30 percent of children are living in child poverty. In Derry, the figure is 34 percent and that is nothing short of scandalous," she commented.
"One of my first actions as a newly-elected MLA was to call for an inquiry into child poverty. That inquiry has now completed it's work and made it's recommendations and what we need to see now is action on implementing them.
"The Assembly and the British Government are committed to eradicating child poverty by 2020. In order to turn those commitments into a reality, innovative measures should be implemented at every level of government.
"Therefore, I very much welcome the recent anti-poverty proposals announced by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
"I believe those measures can be an important first step in the battle against child poverty but we need to see more initiatives like that if we are to end the scandal of child poverty.
"This should be an issue which unites all parties because poverty affects every constituency. It is no respecter of creed or geography. A hungry child is a hungry child no matter who their parents vote for and all of us must do everything in our power to ensure the promise to eradicate child poverty is kept."