NICVA manifesto in minimum wage call to Province parties

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action is demanding a higher minimum wage as part of its policy manifesto for the Province's elections on 26 November.

The manifesto also includes calls for the end of academic selection in schools, progress on equality of opportunity, and measures to tackle child poverty.

The manifesto was launched at a panel debate with politicians from all the main political parties in Northern Ireland last week.

NICVA chief executive Seamus McAleavey said: "Nearly 1,000 member organisations worked with us to produce this manifesto, which reflects the knowledge of those who understand the causes of poverty and exclusion in disadvantaged groups in our society."

The manifesto is more political than documents launched by sister umbrella bodies in Britain. NICVA public affairs director Anne Moore said that the organisation saw itself as a social partner of government in Northern Ireland and wanted to represent the demands of its members for a "better, more relevant politics".

"We want the parties to move on from the constitutional issues to the real problems of poverty and disadvantage," she said.

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