Child Poverty ‘Limiting Life Chances’

Child poverty has a devastating impact on health and education and limits life chances, according to a new study. The charity, Save the Children, said Northern Ireland was entering a critical phase in tackling the problem.

It will use Clifton House – Belfast’s former Poor House – to launch 2020 Vision, the charity’s first annual report on the state of child poverty. The report found that 35,000 young people would “have to be rescued from poverty over the next three years”. This was needed if the government was to meet the target of halving child poverty by 2010″.

However, Save the Children said the restoration of the assembly, coupled with the main parties’ commitment to tackle the issue, had “created positive conditions for progress”.

Researchers Alex Tennant and Marina Monteith said poverty affected every aspect of a child’s life. “More than 100,000 children are living in poverty according to government statistics – that’s one in four,” said Alex. “The eradication of child poverty should be the priority goal of the new assembly, transforming our society, making it a better, fairer, safer place for our children, and for us all.”

Save the Children is calling on First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to make the eradication of child poverty one of the key priorities of the new executive.