Cynon Valley Children Pushed into Poverty by UK Government Policies

Local AM Vikki Howells has expressed her dismay at an Equality and Human Rights Commission report which has found that efforts to tackle child poverty in Wales are being “damaged” by UK government welfare and tax reforms.

It’s estimated that there could be 50,000 more Welsh children in poverty by 2021 as a result of the UK Government’s policies, according to the report.

The Cynon Valley AM has met with Welsh Government Minister for Children and Social Services Huw Irranca-Davies to discuss the report’s findings, and the impact on children in the Cynon Valley constituency.

The EHRC has examined the potential impacts of the UK Government policies since 2010. Those include the Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit and cuts to Tax Credits.

It estimates:

–           Households in Wales with three or more children will lose at least £900 a year on average by 2021-22 from the two-child limit on most benefits, Tax Credits and Universal Credit

–           20,000 more households – and 50,000 more children in Wales – could be in relative poverty following the changes

–           Those in the second lowest income bracket are the worst hit, with a suggestion these households in Wales could lose more than £1,000 a year

–           Disabled people and single parents in Wales will be disproportionately affected

The predicted rise in child poverty in Wales of 8% will be lower than in England where it is forecast to be 11%, the report showed. In Wales the Welsh Labour Government have worked hard to mitigate the worst effects of UK Government austerity.

Vikki Howells AM said: “I am really concerned that Welsh Government work to tackle child poverty is being undermined by UK Government policies.”

“This report just confirms what we all see around us, for example in the huge growth in the number of foodbanks.”

“Speaking to parents, young people and local head teachers, I am well aware of the long term damage UK Government policies are doing to the life chances of young people in the Cynon Valley.”

“It is now time for the UK Government to reflect and listen.”