City Child Poverty ‘Exaggerated’

A leading anti-poverty campaigner has accused a children’s charity of exaggerating levels of child poverty in Londonderry. Save the Children claimed nearly 11,000 children are living below the poverty line in the city.

However, Cormac Wilson, of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, said the figures were exaggerated. Mr Wilson said the figures “bordered on the ridiculous” and “threw an awful shadow over the entire city”.

“I find the figures a complete and total exaggeration and it certainly would not reflect our statistics,” he said. “We would make an average of maybe 250 visits per week to families who are disadvantaged. If you were to assume that each family had an average of four children, we are talking in the region of perhaps 1,000 children.”

A statement from Save the Children said the figures found in its report came from the government. “The figure of 10,900 (36%) children living in poverty in the Derry City Council area is taken from the Department of Social Development’s Family Resources Survey which is carried out annually,” it said.