Welsh child poverty rate ‘national disgrace’, says Oxfam Cymru

Oxfam Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to urgently address Wales’ persistent poverty problem, as new figures released today reveal that one in five people (21%) in Wales live in poverty. 

The statistics also reveal that more than one in four children (28%) in Wales live in poverty.

Oxfam Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to produce a new plan to tackle the country’s stubbornly high child poverty rate, backed by the political will and resources to deliver it. 

Responding to the statistics, Sarah Rees, Head of Oxfam Cymru, said: The pandemic and cost of living crisis have dealt a devastating double blow to the poorest in our society, as these disturbing statistics demonstrate. It’s a national disgrace that across Wales, even in some of the most affluent areas, a high proportion of children live in poverty. 

“We know that the ability to end child poverty isn’t solely in Welsh Ministers’ gift, but they must use all of the powers at their disposal to transform the lives of the thousands of children growing up in poverty across Wales.  

“A key area of reform is the country’s unaffordable and often inaccessible childcare system, which currently leaves too many parents locked out of paid work and forced  into poverty. Access to free, good quality childcare for all children from the age of six months should sit at the heart of the Welsh Government’s next child poverty strategy: it’s basic economic infrastructure.  

“Poverty isn’t inevitable: failure to tackle it is a political choice. Welsh Ministers must choose wisely and build a fairer future for all of us.” 

For more information and interviews, please contact: Rebecca Lozza, Oxfam Media and Communications Adviser, Scotland and Wales: rlozza1@oxfam.org.uk / 07917738450