October 23, 2008 12:00 AM

Commenting on today's Joseph Rowntree Foundation publication showing that the costs of child poverty to the economy are £25bn a year - roughly the equivalent of £1.25bn to Wales alone - Jenny Willott, Shadow Lib Dem Work and Pensions Spokesperson and MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"This report shows that child poverty is both a human tragedy and an economic one.

"With the economy sliding into recession, it is all too easy to think that some noble causes will have to go on the back burner for a while. But this report shows the opposite. Child poverty, which affects 145,000 children in Wales, costs the Welsh economy around £1.25bn a year.

"What's more, the Government is missing out on a mountain of tax and revenue as a result of child poverty - £850m in Wales alone.

"We have already seen child poverty in Wales increase over the last year. As more parents losing their jobs and wages are squeezed, we can expect to see the numbers of children in absolute poverty rise too, placing additional burdens on the economy.

"The Government must act now to minimise the impact of the recession in Wales and beyond. The bankers have had their bail out. The government must take action to help the thousands of Welsh families struggling to make ends meet."

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