Wales’ poverty rate a ‘burning injustice’, says Oxfam Cymru

Oxfam Cymru has called on the new First Minister to make tackling Wales’ perpetual poverty problem his top priority, as new official figures released today show that more than 1 in 5 (21%) of people in Wales live in poverty.  

The statistics also reveal that an increasing number of children in Wales live in poverty: 29% up from 28%. 

Of those living in poverty, nearly half (48%) were in families with children. Oxfam Cymru has previously warned that high childcare costs and a lack of accessible funded childcare provision is driving people into poverty across Wales.

The statistics also show that the poverty rate is much higher for lone parents, households headed by someone who is Black, Asian or from other minority ethnic groups and people who live in a household including working aged adults where someone has a disability. 

Oxfam Cymru has branded the figures a ‘burning injustice’ and is calling on both the UK and Welsh Governments to take urgent, sustained and strategic action to bring poverty rates down.   

Sarah Rees, Head of Oxfam Cymru, said: “For decades, Wales’ stubbornly high poverty rate has cast a long and shameful shadow that blights lives and constrains potential.   

“While not all of the levers for change lie with the Senedd, it is imperative that the new First Minister recognises that maximising devolved powers to effectively tackling poverty requires a whole government approach, which must be underpinned by an ambitious, time-bound and targeted anti-poverty strategy aimed at driving and delivering cross-departmental action. Without such a clear map to a fairer future, the Welsh Government will remain rudderless, leaving people across Walesa drift in the stormy seas of perpetual, prevailing poverty.

“The courage and conviction with which the new First Minister tackles the burning injustice of poverty will be a litmus test of his leadership.” 




For more information and interviews, please contact: Rebecca Lozza, Oxfam Media and Communications Adviser, Scotland and Wales: / 07917738450