TAX REFORM KEY TO TACKLING WELSH CHILD POVERTY

January 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Today, following the publication of the Save the Children report showing that the proportion of children in extreme poverty in Wales is higher than anywhere else in the UK, the Welsh Liberal Democrats stressed the importance of tax reform for tackling child poverty.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central and Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said:

"It is appalling that while Wales has half the number of children in Scotland, there are more children living in extreme poverty in Wales.

"Labour's complex tax and benefit system means that for many it simply does not pay to work. There are more children living in low income households with a working adult than ever before.

"Labour's tax policies have completely failed nearly 100,000 Welsh children. But the Tories tax plans would make things even worse.

"Tory tax breaks for couples where one adult works full time, would do nothing for the vast majority of children in poverty, especially working single parents, those working part-time or couples where both work. It will be so small, it won't make any difference.

"We need a fundamental reform of the tax system if we are to tackle the rising levels of extreme child poverty in Wales. The Liberal Democrats would reform the system so people pay nothing on the first £10,000 they earn.

"This would mean over 220,000 people in Wales would pay no tax whatsoever. It would also cut the tax bill for 840,000 low and middle income earners by up to £700 a year."

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