Rise in children living in poverty in the north

THE number of children living in poverty in the north increased within a year, according to new figures.

Around 23 per cent of children, around 101,000, were in poverty in 2013/14 compared to 20 per cent in the previous year.

The current definition of child poverty is whether a child lives in a household with an income less than 60 per cent of the national average.

Overall figures released by the British government showed 2.3 million children were classed as living in relative poverty.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said UK poverty levels were the "lowest since the mid-1980s" and showed government reforms were working.

But critics questioned the Government's view, amid warnings that the country faced a "child poverty crisis".

Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said: "Politicians might understand these measurements but the electorate certainly doesn't. What I hope would interest the electorate is action to prevent poor children becoming poor adults".

Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon said the three per cent increase in child poverty in the north was "significant".

"This rise comes at a time when the Tory cabinet is planning to cut child tax credits in order to pay for tax cuts for the highest earners and to allow them to transfer their million-pound homes free from inheritance tax," she said.

She added: "The reality is that if we keep on the track laid out by the British Chancellor then we will be condemning many more families and children to a life of poverty".


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