The Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee has published the report of its inquiry into child poverty: “Calling time on child poverty report: how Wales can do better

The purpose of the report is to highlight the concerningly high numbers of children and young people living in poverty in Wales and the Committee’s views on Welsh Government’s draft strategy to eradicate it.

The Committee is calling for Welsh Government to prioritise policies which make the maximum contribution to tackling child poverty, firmly embedding children’s rights into policy and practice.

Children in Wales gave oral evidence to the Committee and welcomes the Committee’s findings and recommendations, many of which reflect our own views.

Our calls in the evidence session included:

  • A demand for “… a delivery plan… with clear, measurable and ambitious milestones supported by transparent monitoring arrangements”.
  • A call for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be used to underpin the Welsh Government’s strategy.
  • A call for an acceleration of the review of eligibility for free school meals at secondary schools.
  • That guidance around school uniform, the cost of which continues to provide a barrier to children engaging with school, is implemented.

Sean O’Neill, Director of Policy at Children in Wales stated:

“The numbers of children in Wales living in poverty in Wales have remained stubbornly high over the last decade. The Welsh Government’s Child Poverty Strategy offers a chance to address this burning issue which we cannot afford to miss. At Children in Wales we are calling for Welsh Government to set out a clear plan to deal with child poverty, using children’s rights to underpin their strategy. As such, we welcome this report from the Equality and Social Justice Committee, the recommendations of which, if implemented, would allow far greater scrutiny of progress, as well as tying their work to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Our evidence was informed by the findings of our Seventh Annual Survey of Child and Family Poverty, which can be found here.