The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today highlighted the record of the Labour-Plaid government on child poverty and reconfirmed their ambition to eliminate child poverty.
Wales has the highest rate of children living in severe poverty in the UK and the Labour-Plaid government failed to meet their 2010 target of halving child poverty.
To tackle child poverty, Welsh Liberal Democrats will:
· focus on lifting families out of poverty through more effective measures such as boosting the economy with our Jobs and Growth Innovation Programme, improving education for poorer children, improving the health service and tackling poverty that affects families as a whole.
· Extend the duty of care to 21, regardless of whether or not a child stays in education.
· Rationalise the number of bodies that deal with the safeguarding of children – there are currently 154 in Wales.
· Provide more money for schools by targeting additional money at the 80,000 pupils who need it the most so that schools can afford to invest in the things that really matter, such as smaller class sizes or one-on-one teaching.
· Scrap Communities First and passing the money to local authorities so that community regeneration is responsive to local need and more accountable to local people.
· Reform local authority funding so that deprivation is fairly recognised.
Speaking with members of Cardiff Parent Network, John Dixon, Welsh Liberal Democrats candidate for South Wales Central said:
“It is an outrage that in Wales, today, someone’s life chances are decided by where they were born. The Labour-Plaid government has failed to meet their 2010 target of halving child poverty.
"The Welsh Liberal Democrats are committed to eliminating child poverty. We believe that education is the ladder out of poverty and we need to make sure that the education system gives every child in Wales the chance to get on in life. Everyone in Wales, no matter their background, should get a fair start at life in order to reach their full potential.
Sarah Teather MP, UK Minister for Children and Families said:
“These are difficult times for families and that is why the Liberal Democrats have lifted 50,000 of the lowest paid workers in Wales out of income tax altogether and given a £200 tax cut to a million Welsh people on low and middle incomes.
“In Wales, it is only the Welsh Liberal Democrats who will provide more money for schools by targeting additional money aimed at the most disadvantage children.”