Belfast Telegraph

Union issues Northern Ireland children poverty warning

By Cate McCurry

More than 20,000 children of public sector workers in Northern Ireland will be living in poverty by the end of next month, unions have warned.

The claim came as a study said the region had seen one of the biggest rises in cases in the UK.

The TUC found the number of children of public sector workers pushed into poverty had leapt by more than 50% in the past seven years. The total is predicted to rise to 21,059 by the end of March, compared to 13,697 in 2010 - an increase of 7,362.

Across the UK, an extra 160,000 children have been pushed below the breadline during this period - from 398,283 to 557,495 - the survey claims.

According to the TUC analysis, one in seven children living with a public sector worker in their family will be below the poverty line - an increase of 40% since 2010.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the figures made for stark reading.

"The government's pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts are causing needless hardship," she added.

"Public servants shouldn't have to worry about feeding or clothing their kids, but many are struggling to afford even the basics. Ministers must give public sector workers the pay rise they have earned. If they don't more families will fall into poverty."

Belfast Telegraph

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