WELSH CHILD POVERTY SET TO RISE BY 10,000 UNDER RECESSION - WILLOTT

February 18, 2009 2:32 PM

Commenting on today's report from the Joseph Rowntree Trust, Ending Child Poverty in a Changing Economy, which predicts that, under the Government's current policies and proposals, UK child poverty will rise by 200,000 to 3.1m by 2020.

The equivalent effect in Wales would see roughly 10,000 more children living in poverty by 2020, a total of 155,000.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"It is now clearer than ever that the Government's current approach to eradicating child poverty is going to fail, and fail badly.

"After last year's increase in child poverty, the Government's record is already looking shaky. Unless major changes are made to combat the impact of the recession on struggling families, child poverty in Wales could return to 1995 levels.

"Relying on tax credits and VAT cuts is plainly insufficient. And the new policy to force lone parents with children as young as 6 to look for work when jobs are so scarce could be extremely damaging.

"Families struggling with the recession need cash in their pockets now. That's why the Liberal Democrats are proposing a major cut in income tax for low and middle income earners, and significant increases in child benefit.

"In the longer-term, we must offer parents the training and support they need to get back into work. Parents who lose their job should not have to wait 12 months on the dole before being offered tailored job support; it should be available straight away."

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