Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poverty in Northern Ireland

04.02.2005


Senior social scientists and policy-makers meet in Belfast today (Friday, February 4) to explore how far the government is succeeding in abolishing child poverty, reducing social exclusion, and improving equal opportunities in Northern Ireland.



Brought together by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s biggest funder of social research, the seminar will examine the distribution of income, benefits and tax in Northern Ireland.

The starting point for the discussion will be a new ESRC report which summarises the latest research findings into poverty in Northern Ireland and what policies might be effective in reducing it.


Professors Paddy Hillyard and Eithne McLaughlin of The Queen’s University of Belfast will deliver opening papers at the seminar and draw on their ground-breaking report, Bare necessities - poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland, and The bottom line: Severe child poverty in Northern Ireland shortly to be published by Save the Children in Northern Ireland.

Bare Necessities documented the extent of poverty that Northern Ireland families experience. It showed that a higher proportion of families are in poverty in Northern Ireland than in either Britain or the Republic of Ireland; and specifically found 185,000 households containing over 500,000 people were living below the poverty line. Poverty was measured by two yardsticks: low income and deprivation - having to go without things, which the public regard as necessities of life: such as enough money to pay heating, electricity and telephone bills on time and new, not second hand clothes.

The Bottom Line also showed that children and families in Northern Ireland are more deprived than their counterparts in Britain. In the words of Professor Hillyard, who described Northern Ireland as one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, "the challenge for Northern Ireland and local politicians is how to reduce these deep fractures of inequality and create a more just society."

Professor McLaughlin commented that lone parents in Northern Ireland face particular difficulties because of low levels of job opportunities for women generally combined with low pay and lack of early years provisions.

Among the themes to be explored are:

• The need for a comprehensive joined-up Northern Ireland anti-poverty strategy with clear definitions, policies, targets and outcome measures, which would also examine the inequality impact of existing and future policies

• A re-examination of Section 75 of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act, which places a duty on public authorities to promote equality across nine domains gender, religious belief, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, political opinion, marital status, and families -- but crucially does not include class or poor/rich dimensions.

• Children and childcare: why has there not been the same commitment to children’s early years in Northern Ireland as in England and Wales? Sure Start has been under-resourced. There is poor childcare provision and women’s employment rates are low. Women’s groups which supply so much of the support at community level do not receive mainstream funding and have to apply for funds annually. Many are going to the wall for lack of funds.

• Area based or individual/group distribution of resources. Does focusing on the former generate problems because poverty within the Catholic community is more concentrated than that within the Protestant community?

• How feasible is a welfare work-to policy in a region where pay is 20% less than the national average, most jobs are poorly paid and of short duration, and support services are in short supply.

• Is the current benefit system adequate to meet the problems of entrenched poverty or is something different needed? Can benefits be made more flexible so that lone parents and long-term unemployed can carry part of their benefits with them into their often short-term jobs as the new pilot programmes for disabled people in England are successfully exploring and as has been the practice in the Republic of Ireland for long-term unemployed people for many years.

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>