Plaid Cymru deems number of children in poverty in Wales a ’cause for national shame’

PLAID Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to take bolder action eradicate child poverty in Wales.

As a Senedd Committee calls for a for a dedicated Minister for Babies, Children and Young People to ‘provide a more coherent response to the scourge of child poverty’ Sioned Williams MS, Plaid Cymru’s Social Justice spokesperson, has said that the vast number of children living in Poverty in Wales a ‘cause for national shame’.

The latest figures show 28% of all children in Wales are living in relative income poverty. That is 8 children in a class of 30.

Today, the Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee calls for a dedicated Minister for Babies, Children and Young People. The Committee’s report, Calling Time on child poverty: how Wales can do better recommends a root and branch review of the Welsh Government’s approach as it finalises its new child poverty strategy.

Ms Williams said that eradicating Child Poverty should be a priority for the Labour Welsh Government, but pointed to the scrapping of targets when they are not reached. The Plaid Cymru MS also praised the good work that Plaid Cymru has achieved in securing free school meals for all primary school children in Wales, saving families with young children thousands of pounds, and called for the Welsh Government to extend this for secondary school pupils in families on Universal credit. This is something that has been previously rejected by the Labour Welsh Government.


Sioned Williams MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Social Justice and Social Services, said:


“Eradicating child poverty in Wales should be at the forefront of the Labour Welsh Government’s work, but over the years we’ve seen them miss targets to tackle child poverty and then scrap these targets altogether.


“I’m glad that free school meals are being provided for all primary school children because of Plaid Cymru’s agreement with the Welsh Government – this is making a real difference. But the Welsh Government should be doing more. They must look at expanding free school meals to all secondary school children from households claiming Universal Credit, and they must look at direct child payments paid to families which has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of reducing child poverty. These are solutions that Plaid Cymru has called for time and time again.


“The Labour Welsh Government must take bolder action to ensure the future of our young people, and therefore the future of our nation, gets the urgent attention it deserves, and establishing a Government Ministry whose sole purpose is to eradicate child poverty would provide focus and accountability.


“The vast number of children living in poverty in Wales is a cause for national shame. We cannot allow this, and the generational harm it causes, to go on.”

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