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Rising deprivation dominates Welsh FMQs

QUESTIONS to First Minister Mark Drakeford turned into a raucous bear pit today as the question of rising child poverty in Wales was raised.

Plaid Cymru’s Delyth Jewell said child poverty rates in her area of Wales are a testament of shame. 

“One of the structures that keeps those families poor is the cruelty of the UK benefits system, with a two-child cap on benefits that punishes children for being born,” Ms Jewell said.

The First Minister argued that 28 per cent of children in Wales are living in relative poverty. 

“Child poverty has deepened as a result of decisions made by successive Conservative governments,” Mr Drakeford said.

“The collapse of the social security system will be a job for an incoming Labour government to rebuild and I hope that they will put the needs of children at the very forefront of that effort.”

Welsh Conservative Natasha Asghar said that the Senedd’s equality and social justice committee released a damning report recently saying that the Welsh government has no clear plan or ambition to tackle child poverty. 

The First Minister said: “You need nerves of steel to stand up on the Conservative benches here and complain about child poverty. 

“Does the member not know that in the last Labour government, child poverty fell?

“It is your party that the deliberate decisions taken have led to hundreds of thousands of children living in poverty.”

Mr Drakeford was visibly angry as he said: “I hear opposition party members shouting at me in their total denial of responsibility for what they have done.

“You have the nerve to stand up here and ask me about what we are doing.”


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