Northern Ireland news

Northern Ireland Executive urged to renew efforts to tackle child poverty

Charities in Northern Ireland have called on the Executive to renew efforts to tackle child poverty by committing to investment and targeted reductions as part of the upcoming Anti-Poverty Strategy
Marie Louise McConville

Charities in Northern Ireland have called on Stomront to renew efforts to tackle child poverty by committing to investment and targeted reductions as part of the upcoming Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Save the Children and the Child Poverty Action Group said the north could see an extra 11,000 children swept into poverty by autumn if the plan to cut Universal Credit by £20 per week goes ahead.

The charities have produced a briefing - `Children Can't Wait' - which looks at how the Executive could help lift thousands of children out of poverty.

It finds that measures such as the introduction of a Northern Irish Child Payment, based on the Scottish Child Payment, would lift as many as 27,000 children out of poverty, while removing the two-child limit would lift as many as 6,000 children out of poverty.

Peter Bryson, Head of Save the Children Northern Ireland said: "Families we work with tell us of the strain of managing family finances on a low income - any further reductions will push already hard pressed families over the edge and we are likely to see increased use of food banks and families struggling to heat homes and afford warm clothing as we approach autumn and winter.

"We just can't allow this happen," he said.

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group said: "The growth in child poverty can be stopped but it will take a range of actions and revoking the planned £20 cut in universal credit and tax credits is an essential first step".

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