CEREDIGION has one of the worst levels of child poverty in Wales, according to new analysis.
The study, undertaken by Loughborough University, has revealed the extent of child poverty across Wales.
Child poverty rates are highest in Blaenau Gwent (30.3 per cent) and Ceredigion (30 per cent), but even in Monmouthshire, the local authority with the lowest child poverty rates, more than one in five children live in poverty (21.4 per cent).
Reacting to the data, Dr Steffan Evans, Head of Policy (Poverty) at the Bevan Foundation said: “This new analysis highlights how poverty is a problem in all Welsh communities. Blaenau Gwent and Ceredigion are very different in many ways but with more than three in ten children living in poverty both local authorities, the latest data highlights the need to view poverty as a national problem not an urban/ rural problem or a valleys/ cities problem.”
Across the whole of Wales 27.9 per cent of children live in poverty after housing costs. When looking before housing costs a staggering 79.8 per cent of children living in poverty live in working households.
Claire Atchia McMaster Director of External Affairs at Turn2us responded to the latest analysis: “Poverty is not a problem of the past and although these statistics are shocking, we believe poverty can be solved. The fact that seven in ten children experiencing poverty are in working households is a symptom of low paid unstable jobs and benefits that haven’t kept up with the true cost of living. This study shows that financial security goes beyond people’s ability to budget or their individual drive to succeed, it’s our economy and social safety net that aren’t working properly. These findings provide a compelling reason for the Welsh Government to make urgently needed updates to its Child Poverty Strategy, because even one child without enough to eat is one too many in 2023.”
The report also highlights that children from larger families are significantly more likely to live in poverty. In 2021/22, the UK poverty rate among children with two or more siblings was 42 per cent, compared with 23 per cent and 22 per cent among children in families with one or two children. With so many children living in poverty, the need to take action has never been greater.
Dr Steffan Evans added: “At a UK level the End Child Poverty Coalition is calling for the two-child limit for those claiming Universal Credit to be scrapped, given the clear link between the policy and child poverty rates in larger families.
“In Wales, the Welsh Government is currently working on updating its Child Poverty Strategy. The latest analysis makes it clear that this new strategy must be accompanied by action that will help put money in families’ pockets and improve access to services.”