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Children: Poverty

Question for Northern Ireland Office

UIN 42121, tabled on 3 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Northern Ireland Executive in tackling child poverty.

Answered on

13 September 2021

Welfare and employment are devolved matters in Northern Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Executive’s Child Poverty Strategy, published in March 2016 and extended by the Executive until 2022, sets out its vision to eradicate child poverty in the future. The aims of the strategy are to reduce the number of children in poverty and reduce the impact of living in poverty on children.

In line with commitments in the New Decade, New Approach agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive is also developing an Anti-Poverty Strategy that aims to address inequalities and obstacles that directly affect the everyday lives of the most vulnerable people in society and will bring focus to identifying and addressing the issues, barriers and disadvantages that undermine equality of opportunity.

There is no doubt that the Executive is committed to combating poverty via the Anti-Poverty and Child Poverty strategies and it has already appointed an Anti-Poverty Strategy Expert Advisory Panel which provided an initial report in December 2020.

This work aligns with the Government’s long-term ambitions to tackle poverty through a reformed welfare system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move into work wherever possible and we are wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes.

Over the past years, the UK Government has invested £2 billion in the New Decade, New Approach financial package; over £600m to the City and Growth Deal programme; and £400m in the New Deal for Northern Ireland to bring prosperity across Northern Ireland, and thereby helping to reduce poverty.