Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: The number of children in poverty in each area of Northern Ireland

Over a quarter of children in Northern Ireland are living in poverty, new figures show.

The End Child Poverty campaign has published figures covering the whole of the United Kingdom, with over half of children living in poverty in certain districts.

In Northern Ireland an average of 25.12% of children were living in poverty.

Figures are given for each electoral district in the UK.

The End Child Poverty coalition is made up of almost 100 organisations across civil society.

Child poverty is defined by circumstances where a child is living on less than 60% of median household income, which works out at around £248 a week - although this varies depending on the number of children in a household.

In Northern Ireland, Foyle topped the list of areas with the most child poverty, with 34.38% of children suffering.

Belfast West, Belfast North, East Londonderry, Newry and Armagh, and West Tyrone all also had above average rates of child poverty.

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Sinn Fein spokesperson for children and young people Catherine Kelly said the figures were "a damning indictment of the impact of Tory austerity supported by the DUP".

"They are also very alarming in the context that Executive departments have a statutory duty to address poverty and disadvantage and to target resources at objective need," she said.

“Yet despite this, we are receiving reports that Bright Start initiatives, which play a vital role in addressing child poverty are facing significant proposed budget cuts."

The Bright Start is a flagship initiative for the Department of Education launched in 2014, with the aim of creating school age childcare places.

Peter Bryson, Northern Ireland spokesman for End Child Poverty and head of Save the Children in Northern Ireland said: "Due to the extent of child poverty, children across Northern Ireland are being denied the happy childhoods and the good start in life other children take for granted.

"When these figures were last published, we said they were forecast to rise and today’s report is confirmation of that. Furthermore, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warns that the level of child poverty in Northern Ireland will increase to more than 30% by 2020 without major interventions to support family income and opportunities for low income children."

In some parts of the UK more than half of all children in certain constituencies were experiencing child poverty.

The constituencies of Bethnal Green and Bow; Poplar and Limehouse; and Birmingham, Hodge Hill all had child poverty levels over 50%.

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