More than 1 in 5 children in Northern Ireland are living in poverty, new study finds – – Our News, Your Views

More than 1 in 5 children in Northern Ireland are living in poverty, new study finds

Poverty affects more than one in five children in Northern Ireland, according to a report by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition.

The statistics were calculated on the basis of the number of children living in a household whose average income is less than 60% after housing costs, reports RTE.

The report shows that 22.2% of children in Northern Ireland are poor by this definition.

In Belfast West and Belfast North it is 28.5% and 27.6% respectively.

Data refers to the year ending March 2022. The report’s authors point out that this means they do not cover when “the cost-of-living crisis really took hold”, nor the rise in inflation which has been particularly pronounced around the cost of food and fuel.

The Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network (NIAPN), a member of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said it was “deeply concerned” about the high percentage of children living in poverty.

The End Child Poverty Coalition is calling for the removal of the two-child limit for those applying for Universal Credit, as evidence shows that children with two or more siblings are more likely to experience poverty.

A NIAPN representative said: “The numbers of children in poverty across the UK is a massive indicator of a punitive and unjust social security system and wages that remain too low to pull the working poor out of poverty. We hope that MPs, MLAs and local councillors use this data to guide their anti-poverty policies and commit to a long overdue NI anti-poverty strategy,” reports RTE.

It added: “The massive increase of private rents over the past few years, whilst the local housing allowance remains frozen will push more children into poverty. We are facing a perfect storm of the cost-of-living crisis, high inflation, low wages, no childcare strategy, the two-child policy, massive cuts to public spending, along with a lack of devolved government,” reports RTE.

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