Brighter futures: the future path of child poverty in Northern Ireland | CPAG

Brighter futures: the future path of child poverty in Northern Ireland

Post date: 
11 November 2021

Without action, child poverty in Northern Ireland will rise over the next few years. Read our new report with Save the Children Northern Ireland. 

A slow labour market recovery, a weakened social security system, and a growing income gap between families are contributing to a rising tide of child poverty. New analysis in this briefing paper shows that by 2024/25 child poverty is projected to rise to over 25 per cent.

But the analysis also shows that this isn’t inevitable. The recent announcements of an increased work allowance and a lowered taper rate in Universal Credit means child poverty is slightly lower than it would have been, but by investing further in a stronger social security system for children, the Northern Ireland Executive could
secure a historic reduction in child poverty:

  • Removing the two-child limit would mean 11,000 fewer children in poverty by 2024/25 and ensure child poverty in Northern Ireland stays below the pre-pandemic level.
  • Introducing a £20 child payment for families eligible for means-tested benefits would lift 27,000 children out of poverty and secure a historic reduction.

Combined, these two steps would ensure that there are 38,000 fewer children in poverty than our projected scenario, with an overall rate of poverty of 17 per cent, a historic low.

A rate of 17% should not be the extent of our ambitions for child poverty. But by making these changes, the Executive can set us on a path to a brighter future for children and help to build the foundations for a Northern Ireland where no child grows up in poverty.