Children can't wait: investing in social security to reduce child poverty in Northern Ireland

Post date: 
26 August 2021

The upcoming Anti-Poverty Strategy is a chance for the Northern Irish Executive to invest in measures that make a difference for children. By setting out an ambitious vision, measurable targets, and by committing to investment in children, the Anti-Poverty Strategy can set us on a path to a future where no child grows up in poverty. This briefing by Save the Children UK and CPAG looks at some of the ways the Executive could achieve this. It examines how changes in social security would lift children out of poverty. 

Key findings:

  • The upcoming cut to universal credit and working tax credit would plunge 11,000 children into poverty
  • Introducing a new child payment of £20 a week for every child eligible for means-tested benefits, to supplement child benefit, would lift 27,000 out of poverty at a cost of £210 million, with children in single-parent families, families with children under 5, or with three or more children, all seeing a reduction in poverty of between 8.5 and 6 percentage points
  • Removing the two-child limit would lift 6,000 children out of poverty at a cost of £27 million, with a 4-percentage point reduction in child poverty in families with three or more children, while fixing the loopholes in the current welfare mitigations package would cost £2.5 million
  • Restoring the value of core child-related benefits (child element in universal credit, child tax credit, child benefit) to 2009/10 levels would lift 14,000 children out of poverty at a cost of £150 million