WELSH CHILDREN POOREST IN UK AND GETTING POORER

May 12, 2009 12:00 AM

Today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats released research using the recently released Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics showing that the risk of children living poverty is greatest in Wales and has risen more than any other part of the UK.

The figures reveal that:

• Welsh children have a 27% chance of living in poverty, equalled only by the North East and well above the UK average of 22%.

• This is 2 percentage points higher than the previous year's figures. This rise is equalled only by the North East and the East Midlands.

• The overall risk of child poverty across the UK has remained stable over this period.

• When housing costs are taken into account, the risk of a Welsh child living in poverty rises to 32%.

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

"The Government says it wants to wipe out child poverty. But all the figures show that child poverty is on the rise and especially in Wales.

"A child born in Wales today has more than a 1 in 4 chance of growing up in poverty, the highest in the country. Even more shocking is that the risk of a child living in poverty in Wales is actually increasing, and by more than almost anywhere else in the UK.

"The reality is that Labour only just dented child poverty in Wales. With the recession kicking in, the small progress that had been made is being rapidly undone.

"The Government's target of halving child poverty in 2010 is totally fanciful. But the long-term and more important goal of eradicating child poverty by 2020 is now in serious doubt."

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