Child poverty ‘costs Derry £113m

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Tackling child poverty in Derry cost £113million a year, a new report suggests.

Research carried out for the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and published today further reveals that more than 10,000 children in Derry are living in poverty - the second highest figure among the north’s 26 council areas.

The report, Local Authorities and Child Poverty: Balancing Threats with Opportunities, produced by Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University, details the financial impact of child poverty in every council area in England, Scotland, Wales and the north.

It suggest a total of 10,382 children are living below the poverty line in Derry - at a cost to government of £113million each year.

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of CPAG, said the report should help shape government policy.

“We always put our children first in family life, and it’s right that we should do so in our local communities too. Reducing child poverty benefits everyone by cutting the costs to local services and boosting the local economy through improved skills and qualifications for school leavers.

“Our new report will help local politicians and government departments in Northern Ireland on the challenges they face and the actions they can take to protect families in their area against poverty; and many residents will be shocked to hear that so many local children are living in poverty.

“We hope that local campaigners will be able to use our report to encourage their local politicians to do more to end child poverty in their area and support those families facing the greatest hardship.”

Les Allamby, Director of Law Centre (NI) said the report should act as “a wake up call to start acting now to improve the lives of the next generation.”

““The figures for Northern Ireland are shocking, with almost 100,000 children living below the relative poverty line at a cost of over £1 billion in extra costs of providing additional public services and other support, lost tax receipts from people earning less and more adults spending time out of work from having grown up in poverty,” he said.