Northern Ireland

Barnardo's says more work needed to tackle child poverty

The charity Barnardo's has said more needs to be done to get children out of poverty.

Two areas of Northern Ireland have some of the highest rates of child deprivation in the UK, according to a new report from the Campaign to End Child Poverty.

West Belfast stands at 46% and Londonderry 36%.

Lynda Wilson, from Barnardo's, said the recession has had a very clear impact in Northern Ireland.

"We've moved from 13% to 17% of our children in workless households and that's the highest figure in the whole of the UK at the moment so that is very troubling," she said.

Alison Garnham from End Child Poverty said: "Child poverty costs us billions picking up the pieces of damaged lives and unrealised potential, so it's a false economy if we don't prioritise looking after children today.

"Targeting cuts on families will prove both an economic and a social disaster, with businesses losing billions of pounds of demand and families struggling to keep their kids clothed, fed and warm.

"The government urgently needs a serious plan to stop the rise in unemployment and to create jobs so that young people and parents can get out of the dole queue and into the workplace."

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