He was Responding to a motion calling on Derry City and Strabane District Council to develop its own poverty action plan.
Said the Ballyarnett representative: “We are being asked to develop a poverty action plan when Stormont doesn’t have one.
“It is scandalous that our government in Belfast which is tasked with reducing poverty, tasked with tackling disadvantage and tasked with addressing inequality does not have an anti-poverty strategy.
“Our council should develop its own poverty plan, but the immediate priority should be that our government in Stormont produces theirs.”
The New Decade, New Approach deal which brokered the return of government to Stormont after a three year absence stated that an anti-poverty strategy should be ready for Executive sign-off and endorsement by the end of March 2020.
In June 2015, a high court ruling stated that the NI Executive had breached its statutory duty by not having an anti-poverty strategy, a key component of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent St. Andrews Agreement.
Mr Farrell added: “Government statistics suggest that over 300,000 people across the North live in absolute poverty and it is the Executive’s responsibility to reduce that figure.
“Poverty is a scourge on our society and Stormont must act quickly and decisively to produce a plan on how it will eradicate poverty.
“The production of an anti-poverty strategy is strictly the responsibility of the Minister for Communities, Sinn Féin’s Carál Ní Chuilín.
“Every day of delay in the production of this strategy is another day that 300,000 people are being failed.
“COVID-19 has undoubtedly contributed to the delay in the release of an anti-poverty strategy, but it cannot be used as an excuse for five years of inaction since the high court ruling.”
Derry and Strabane Council has agreed to write to the Northern Ireland Executive calling for the development and implementation an anti-poverty strategy, as detailed in the New Decade, New Approach document.