Friday, June 19, 2015

Welsh Poverty

Almost a quarter of people in Wales are living in poverty (calculated as households earning 60% of average income) and the Welsh Government is not doing enough to help them, a new report by the National Assembly for Wales’s Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee has warned. The figure has barely fluctuated in 20 years. Ministers have treated the symptoms, not the causes, and not been innovative enough, the cross-party committee said. They say changes to the labour market mean that work is no longer a straightforward route out of poverty. A recent report commissioned by Gwynedd Council revealed the extent of poverty and lack of jobs in parts of Dwyfor. According to the 2013 study some 38.2% of households were living under the poverty threshold with 18.4% of homes living on an income of less than £10,000 a year.

“About 79,000 people were referred to Trussell Trust food banks in Wales last year, which was around 122% more than the previous year. We find issues around zero-hour contract working and irregular forms of employment to be a particular problem because people lack that stability of employment that family budgets need in order to be able to budget on a week-by-week basis” said Adrian Curtis of the Trussell Trust

Barnado's Cymru’s director Yvonne Rodgers called the report "a distress flare" for the one in three children in Wales living in poverty. "Child poverty is a disgrace and a ball and chain around our future economic development". 

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