Press Release

100,000 children in Northern Ireland living in poverty- Committee highlights need for action

Session: 2007/2008

Date: Tuesday, 08 January 2008

Reference: COFMDFM 16/07

The Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister today published its interim report on Child Poverty in Northern Ireland. 
The report includes written submissions from over 40 key stakeholders.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Danny Kennedy MLA said:

“There can be little doubt that having more than 100,000 children in Northern Ireland living in poverty and 44,000 children living in severe poverty is unacceptable in the 21st Century.

“The Committee therefore welcomes the commitment within the Programme for Government to work towards the elimination of child poverty by 2020 and to work towards the elimination of severe child poverty by 2012 .

“These are, however, very challenging targets and the Committee urges the First Minister, deputy First Minister, and the Executive, to examine the submissions received by it, and to use the proposals put forward within the report to strengthen the short to medium-term targets and actions on tackling child poverty within the Programme for Government, Investment Strategy and Budget.”


Notes to Editors:

1. Children in Northern Ireland and Derry Children’s Commissioner will be attending the Committee meeting on 9 January as the Committee begins its oral evidence sessions with key stakeholders.

2. The Committee meeting will commence at 2:00pm, in Room 144 , Parliament Buildings , Stormont with the oral evidence session scheduled to commence at 2:15 pm.

3. The report focuses on identifying the size of the child poverty problem in Northern Ireland and compares the position here with other regions of the UK, Ireland and Europe.

4. Although the Committee is unable to provide detailed recommendations to the Assembly and the Executive until it has concluded its evidence gathering process, the report seeks to identify some of the strategic changes that need to be made to the Programme for Government, Budget and Investment Strategy to ensure that there is a robust basis on which to build an anti-poverty strategy.

5. The Committee aims to conclude its inquiry into child poverty in early Spring 2008.

6. The interim report was produced to inform the Programme for Government, Budget and Investment Strategy which are due to be finalised by the end of January 2008.

7. The Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the First Minister and the deputy First Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within their responsibilities as Ministers jointly in charge of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.”

Committee Membership: -
Danny Kennedy, Chairperson
Naomi Long, Deputy Chairperson
Martina Anderson
Tom Elliott
Dolores Kelly
Barry McElduff
Francie Molloy
Stephen Moutray
Jim Shannon
Jimmy Spratt
Jim Wells

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