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Nearly 400,000 Northern Ireland people in poverty, Assembly told

By Noel McAdam

Published 23/11/2016

Communities Minister Paul Givan
Communities Minister Paul Givan

Northern Ireland has almost 400,000 people living in relative poverty, the Assembly has heard. A joint Ulster Unionist and SDLP motion warned just over a fifth of people (22%) are in relative poverty - many of them children and senior citizens.

Communities Minister Paul Givan said the most recent poverty figures showed 395,100 people are living in relative poverty before housing costs are taken into account.

The UUP's Jenny Palmer said the overall figure was larger than any settlement in Northern Ireland except for Belfast.

"It is nearly five Bangors, around seven Omaghs and more than triple Lisburn," she said.

Mr Givan said there were plans to change the approach to the problem, and he would bring Stormont's first ever social strategy to the Executive in the coming weeks.

"It will identify those in poverty and outline specific interventions to support them. It will also identify those at greatest risk of social exclusion," he added.

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