Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has spoken of the need for the Northern Ireland Executive to take urgent action to address the high levels of child poverty in Northern Ireland in light of a new report by the End Poverty Campaigned which singled out West Belfast in particular as having the second highest level of child poverty anywhere in the UK.
Jim said, “It is an extremely worrying situation that in the 21st century we still have such high levels of child poverty in Northern Ireland.
That is why I was delighted to see the European Commission bring forward a Social Investment Package which includes a number of recommendations against child poverty and calls for an integrated approach to child-friendly social investment. The package consists of a communication setting out the policy framework, concrete actions to be taken by Member States and the Commission and guidance on the use of EU funds to support reforms
I urge the Executive and the Minister for Social Development, who I will be contacting to highlight this issue, to immediately utilise this assistance in order to begin to accelerate investment in children and young people as this is the most effective way in breaking through intergenerational cycles of poverty and social exclusion thus improving people’s opportunities in later life.”