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Child poverty can only be tackled by multi departmental approach

20 November, 2012 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann has said that there needs to be a multi departmental approach to tackling Child Poverty if we are to meet targets of eradicating it by 2020.

 Ms McCann said,

 “First of all we will not be forced by the Tory Government of measuring poverty in terms that suit the needs of the Government rather than reflecting the needs of the people.  Those measures need to reflect the variation in circumstances across these islands.  Differences in economic opportunity, in family size and in rates of disability all have a direct and meaningful impact on the scale of child poverty.

 “The Tory Welfare Reforms will only add to the number of children who will suffer from the effects of poverty so it is crucial we factor these measures into the development of a strategy in tackling inequalities in the lives of children.

 “This is too important an issue for to be left to one department or a couple of people to tackle, it needs the support of the entire Assembly.

 “We now have a clear Strategy, endorsed by allExecutive Ministers.  We have clear arrangements in place to develop measurements of how each of the departments is contributing towards reducing child poverty. 

“We have begun to deliver specific programmes which will make a meaningful difference both to the immediate and the longer term needs of children and young people and in turn the children of those young people in generations to come. 

“It is important that we now move the strategy forward by agreeing an implementation plan that will make a real difference to children’s lives”

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