Thursday, February 22, 2018

Northern Ireland's Poverty

Little progress has been made on reducing poverty in Northern Ireland, with too many people locked out of the opportunity to secure a decent standard of living.

Overall, 370,000 people live in poverty, around one in five of the population – made up of 110,000 children, 220,000 working-age adults and 40,000 pensioners.

Only 35 per cent of working-age disabled people in Northern Ireland are employed, compared to 42 per cent in Scotland, 47 per cent in Wales and 50 per cent in England. 

Northern Ireland has higher unemployemnt and lower employment than elsewhere and the proportion of people in poverty in jobless households in Northern Ireland has increased. One in six adults in Northern Ireland have no qualifications (16 per cent), compared to less than one in ten working-age adults in England, Wales and Scotland. Only 47 per cent of children eligible for free school meals achieved five good GCSEs in 2016, compared with 68 per cent of all children.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said, “Northern Ireland has not seen the same benefits from rising employment as the rest of Great Britain, meaning more families are locked out of opportunities to build a decent, secure life."

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