Peter Hain has condemned ‘failing’ Coalition policies in reaction to the news that one million children in the UK will be living in poverty by 2020, with thousands of Neath children likely to be affected.
It is news that has confirmed the worst fears of child poverty campaigners, with 200,000 children in Wales already living in poverty. The MP for Neath has repeatedly voiced his concerns regarding child poverty over the past few months, growing increasingly concerned about the effects that the Government attacks on Welfare Benefits are having on the most vulnerable in our communities.
Commenting Mr Hain said, “In Neath Port Talbot, more than 20,000 children are living in homes where weekly earnings total less than 60% of the average household and the number of children living in poverty is going up because the government isn’t creating jobs and is systematically removing the safeguards Labour put in like childcare solutions and tax credits”.
Mr Hain strongly criticised the Government’s “refusal to believe in relative poverty with an inability to promote policies that might help people out of absolute poverty” and is particularly angry about the undoing of all the progress made under Labour.
He warns, “what the IFS is talking about is so massive an increase in child poverty that it will effectively reverse all the work Labour did between 1997 and 2010 getting one million children out of poverty.”
Mr Hain was further worried, he said, about the burden on local services that increased child poverty would bring, pointing out that at the Neath foodbank alone, organisers are ‘already struggling’ to deal with the demand and desperation of local people.