[Sinn Fein]

3rd February 2003

O'Caoláin to Attend End Child Poverty Coalition Launch

Sinn Fein Group Leader and party Spokesperson on Health and Children, Caoimhghín O'Caoláin will attend the launch of the End Child Poverty Coalition tomorrow afternoon in Buswells Hotel at 12.00.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: "Children in this state are almost twice as likely than adults to experience poverty and a quarter of Irish children in this state are living in relative poverty. Our children are going to dilapidated schools, poorly maintained and resourced schools. Many of them are going there hungry.

The Government committed to a three stage implementation plan for Child Benefit costing €1.27 billion and they reneged on the final stage in the Budget. They chose to prioritise tax cuts for big business over delivering for the weakest and most vulnerable section of society.

Sinn Fein is absolutely committed to the elimination of child poverty and we welcome the initiative to set up the Coalition, which can be assured of our full support. It is that message which I hope to send by attending the launch tomorrow.

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