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Failure to reach targets on Child Poverty

27 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said the British Government must do more to tackle child poverty after it was revealed that figures set to be released today will show that the British government will miss its target of halving child poverty by 2010.

Ms Anderson said:

"Figures set to be released today will reveal that the targets of reducing the number of children in poverty to 1.5 million will not be met by 2010. There is also a real fear the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020 will be unachievable.

"If the British Government is not meeting its own targets then where does that leave us, because across every indicator of poverty and social exclusion the situation in the six counties is worse than in Britain?

"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.

"No one should try and make any excuses about the findings of this report. It is a damming indictment of the failures of British Labour government policy. It is further evidence of the urgent need to get local politicians in charge and a break with British government policies that are failing".

"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

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