'Poverty linked to Troubles' - Academic

'Poverty linked to Troubles' - Academic

Any resolution on dealing with the past in Northern Ireland must include tackling those people living in poverty because of their experiences during the Troubles, a Queen's academic has said.

Research has revealed that more than a quarter of adults in Northern Ireland live without basic necessities like food, heat or clothing.The study has also revealed that of those who had personally experienced the Troubles 36% of them suffer some kind of deprivation.The figures were discovered in the largest study of its kind ever carried out in the UK which examined how a lack of money is impacting sections of society.Compiled by Queen's University, the research found 38% of adults who had a relative injured in the Troubles suffered multiple deprivation; 45% for those who had a relative jailed; and 56% for those who recorded police or army searches of their home.The highest level of deprivation, 58%, affected people who were forced to move house because of harassment.Sociology Professor Mike Tomlinson from Queen's said the impact of violent conflict has a similar impact around the world.He said: "Dealing with the past needs to include tackling the deprivation of those whose lives are most blighted by the years of conflict."Across the UK, the study found that households below the minimum standard of living increased from 14% to 33% over the last 30 years, despite the size of the economy doubling.It also showed that millions can't afford adequate housing, are too poor for social activities, can't heat their homes and are not properly fed.Professor David Gordon, from the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol, said: "Poverty and deprivation have increased since 2010, the poor are suffering from deeper poverty and the gap between the rich and poor is widening."


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