Briefing Note (BN154)

Child and working-age poverty in Northern Ireland over the next decade: an update

Date: 24 November 2014
Publisher: IFS
ISBN: 978-1-909463-55-4
DOI: 10.1920/bn.ifs.2014.00154

The UK government has ambitious, legally-binding targets to reduce child poverty by 2020–21. This briefing note updates previous IFS projections of how these poverty measures are likely to evolve in Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole between 2013–14 and 2020–21 under current policies and forecasts about how the economy will evolve over this period. As in previous work, we find that the targets will be missed by a wide margin under current policies as cuts to benefits and tax credits for those of working age are brought in and a recovery in earnings increases the incomes of middle-income households by more than the incomes of the poor. This will be slightly offset by the introduction of universal credit, which will tend to make poverty increase less quickly. We project that increases in poverty will be particularly large for Northern Ireland, mainly because employment growth is forecast to be considerably slower in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the UK, most notably than in London and the East and South-East of England.