“Lack of leadership”- Welsh Lib Dems call for new minister needed to eradicate child poverty

14 May 2024
Child poverty

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for the creation of a dedicated Minister for Babies, Children and Young People to help combat child poverty in Wales.

Speaking to the Senedd, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds MS, who previously worked as a social worker for over 20 years, claimed that Wales current efforts to eradicate child poverty “lacks any form of serious leadership”.

The party have cited child poverty levels in countries with a dedicated Minister for Children, such as Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway, being considerably lower than in Wales:

  • 14.3% child poverty rate in Ireland- Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
  • 12.6% child poverty rate in New Zealand- Minister for Children and for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence.
  • 11.3% child poverty rate in Norway- Minister for Children and Families.
  • 29% child poverty rate in Wales- No current Minister.

Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“It is a sad situation when over a quarter of our children are living in poverty, a statistic that should serve as a stain on this government’s record.

Our current effort in Wales lacks any form of serious leadership or strategic cohesion, with responsibilities scattered we’re left facing an uphill battle.

We must learn from countries who are succeeding in the battle against child poverty - such as Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway.

Each has a dedicated Minister for Children leading their respected child poverty strategy and, crucially, they are all outperforming Wales with far lower rates of poverty.

Without a dedicated Minister leading efforts to eradicate poverty, we here in Wales will continue to stagger cluelessly in the dark.”

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