SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has described Derry’s latest child poverty figures as “alarming, but not surprising”.
Recent statistics released by End Child Poverty show that the Derry City Council area has the highest rate of child poverty throughout the North. Child poverty is defined as children living in households with income of less than 60% of the UK average. In Derry 31% of children live in poverty against a Northern Ireland average of 22%.
Further statistics reveal that the Brandywell has a child poverty rate of 49%, the highest percentage across Northern Ireland’s 582 electoral wards. This is closely followed by Creggan South on 44%, with Creggan Central and Shantallow East both on 43%.
Mr Eastwood commented
“Child poverty is a scourge on our society. Countless studies have been conducted into the impacts of poverty and the findings were lower educational and health outcomes for the child.”
“Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson have responsibility for eliminating child poverty in the North by 2020. In light of these latest figures it seems apparent that the First Minister and deputy First Minister will struggle to meet their target.”
The Foyle MLA added
“These latest child poverty figures are further proof that the North West is lagging behind the rest of the North economically. The only way to address this issue is to ensure more jobs and specifically more high-quality jobs come to Derry.”
The other Council areas in the North West, Strabane and Limavady, had the joint second highest rate on 29%.