RCPCH Ireland responds to Child Poverty in Northern Ireland report

The Northern Ireland Audit Office has published a report on child poverty in the nation.

The report, published by Comptroller and Auditor General Dorinnia Carville, highlighted:  

  • 18% of children in Northern Ireland are living in relative poverty (before housing costs). 
  • 8% of children in Northern Ireland are living in persistent poverty (three of the last four years). 
  • Poor children are four times more likely to develop a mental health problem by the age of 11. 

RCPCH Officer for Ireland, Dr Ray Nethercott, said:  

The lack of progress we are making when it comes to child poverty is frankly unacceptable. It is wreaking havoc on our young people’s childhoods, limiting their potential, worsening their mental health, and draining the public purse.   

The last child poverty strategy had serious flaws, which we highlighted at the time of publication, such as a lack of targets, accountability, co-ordination and funding. A new anti-poverty strategy is needed, but we have to ensure that lessons are learned from our past failings.  

We are once again calling for robust outcomes, targets and measures for children within the broader Anti-poverty Strategy and call on the Northern Ireland Executive and the Minister for Communities to expedite publication of this much needed strategy.