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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular volume control

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

When fish swim in the holodeck

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>