A Third Of Welsh Children In Poverty

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales says not enough is being done to tackle child poverty.

It’s claimed nearly a third of children in Wales are suffering.

All four of the UK’s commissioners have published a joint report criticising welfare reforms and children’s rights.

There are concerns in particular about mental health services, child sexual abuse and children in the justice system.

Sally Holland was appointed in April to act as a champion for children in Wales and said the effects are ‘crippling’:

‘It is deeply disappointing that I have to present a report to the UN which shows Wales having the highest rate of child poverty in the UK.

‘Although Welsh Government has a clear anti-poverty strategy with some promising programmes for children, including Flying Start and Families First, these have so far failed to make an impact on overall rates of poverty.

‘This may be related to the problems of scale and that these programmes do not reach enough children in Wales.

‘Whilst the UK Government's austerity measures have halted the decline in child poverty and around 200,000 children in Wales continue to live in poverty, I remain convinced that the Welsh Government and local government have some levers to change things.’

A Welsh Government spokesperson said:

‘We are in agreement with the Children's Commissioners that the UK Government's welfare reforms and austerity measures have had a hugely detrimental impact on the lives of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

‘This is why we are investing over £323 million in our tackling poverty programmes this year alone, while all our government departments continue to work together to focus more relentlessly on the root causes of poverty in order to help people out of poverty and give children the best possible start in life.’

While the UK government says it 'makes no apologies for helping people out of poverty by providing more jobs'.