Tackling Child Poverty in Wales Needs Less Bureacracy, Not More

2007 Hydref 29 12:00 AM

Responding to the Government's announcement today that it is establishing a 'Child Poverty Unit', Jenny Willott MP and member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee currently carrying out an inquiry into the Government's efforts to eradicate child poverty, said:

"Less bureaucracy is needed to end child poverty, not more. At the current disgracefully slow pace, child poverty will not be abolished until 2049.

"Wales has around 165,000 children in living in child poverty - the highest level in the UK.

"Adding this new layer of bureaucracy may help to ensure more joined-up government, but if ministers are not prepared to alter their policy, it will have a minimal effect.

"The complexity of the means-tested benefits system reduces incentives to work, results in thousands of Welsh families missing out on their entitlements and leaves many others facing increased debt problems when overpayments are suddenly clawed back.

"Wales' poorest are being locked into an endless cycle of deprivation. We need an immediate increase in child benefit and new resources for educating the most disadvantaged children if we are to break this poverty deadlock."

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