Poverty and Deprivation

That this Assembly expresses its concern that, according to the Department for Communities, around 376,000 or 21% of people in Northern Ireland live in relative income poverty before housing costs; notes that, in June 2015, the High Court found that the Executive had breached a legal duty by failing to adopt an identifiable strategy setting out how they proposed to tackle poverty, social exclusion and patterns of deprivation based on objective need; further notes that the Programme for Government consultation document published in October 2016 refers to a new social strategy in relation to these matters; and calls on the Minister for Communities to publish an overarching strategy and long-term plan, including budget allocations, which outlines specific targets and timelines to reduce poverty and deprivation and tackle social exclusion and ensures the application of resources based on neutral criteria that measure deprivation irrespective of community background or other affiliation.

1 thought on “Poverty and Deprivation”

  1. ‘That’ what contributes to deprivation is compounded in rural areas by distance from where services are available and delivered. It appears over the years that ‘few’ seem to understand what proximity to / from local services actually means to those in rural areas who do not have access to personal / household transport. It means waking up; walkto and wait at bus stop on public transport.
    Outwards journey.
    Then walk from bus and wait for appointment / service.
    Walk back and wait on public transport.
    Howeward journey.
    Then walk back from bus stop to home!
    This amounts literally to a number of hours of time, effort and endeavour.
    This has manifested itself here in the rural deprived ward of Armoy for generations.
    Walking to and waiting at the bus stop is so visible and over the past 20 years so little has changed to address rural deprivation in areas that are designed as such by objective measurement.
    The contrast to how deprivation is tackled in urban areas is stark. Designated deprived urban areas (objectively measured ) have extra services / resources allocated/ delivered even though existing services are available that are literally accessible within minutes. The contrast to how ‘the poor’ live in rural areas seems to be poorly understood?
    The Ward of Armoy is in the top 8% of ‘most deprived’ in terms of proximity to services.
    And could positive change be possible?
    Yes -there are real positives here.
    There is an oversubscribed cross community playgroup.
    There is a wonderful,and professional Surestart programme delivered.
    The Community Pharmacy delivers an incredibly valued service.
    The population of the area has increased by 13% over the past 10 years.
    The enrolment of both primary schools have increased really significantly.
    But those who were most in need – are still those most in need!
    Yes it would be good to have input into how ‘things’ could be improved.

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