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UK Government taking ‘deliberate decisions’ that plunge Welsh children into poverty says First Minister

16 Nov 2021 2 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford speaking in the Senedd

Wales’ First Minister has accused the UK Government of taking “deliberate decisions” that ensured that more children in Wales would live in poverty.

Answering a question in the Senedd about the cuts to universal credit and the rising cost of living, Mark Drakeford rejected the idea by another Senedd Member that the UK Government’s handling of the economy was down to “incompetence”.

“I think he’s generous to describe the policies of the Conservative Government as the result of incompetence,” Mark Drakeford said.

“My view is that they are very often the deliberate decisions of a Government that knows what it is doing, knows that there will be thousands more children in poverty in Wales because of their cuts to universal credit, but simply don’t care.”

He made the comments after saying that Welsh households on universal credit and other working-age benefits would be offered a £100 one-off payment this winter to help with fuel bills.

The Welsh government said it expected 350,000 households to benefit from the £38m winter fuel support scheme.

Mark Drakeford contrasted the UK Government which “decided to rip up the social fund, the final safety net of the welfare state” with the Welsh Government which had “decided to invest in a Welsh scheme that is the same across the whole of Wales,”.

His comments came after the latest UK Government figures showed that 168,600 children in Wales were in families who received Universal Credit and therefore hit by the £20 cut announced by UK Government Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Welsh Conservative finance spokesman Peter Fox said said that it was not their fault that so many people in Wales lived in poverty.

“Labour have been in power for the past 22 years and sadly it’s left Wales with the lowest take home pay in Britain, and the most people living in poverty in the UK,” he said.

“The Conservative government is helping families meet the cost of living and supporting vulnerable households by reducing the universal credit taper rate from 63p to 55p, as well as raising the national living wage to £9.50.”

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Catherine Hill
Catherine Hill
11 days ago

I do like Mark Drakeford…he seems quite the truthful sort. They would mash him down in England because he doesn’t defer to rules of “the old boy network” and the hypocritical mealy mouthing so common in our cousins across the border when it comes to political discourse.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
11 days ago

There’s no point in moaning about it Drakeford – start looking at how Wales can do better on it’s own. Surely he’s as tired of Wales taking a hit by Westminster as the rest of us!

Arwyn
Arwyn
11 days ago

Drakeford isn’t wrong but he limits himself in the political scope of his criticism. Anyone remember Lee Waters’ “We’ve thrown the kitchen sink at the (Welsh) economy but it hasn’t budged” comment? We must ask why? Wales’ economy is a classic example of a core-periphery relationship within the UK state. One of the primary reasons many of us want independence is so as to rip up the script so to speak. Of course, Waters was refering to the position of Wales’ GDP and GVA per capita wrt the UK average over time. The gap has widened over the course of… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Arwyn
George Bodley
George Bodley
11 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

The tories have just done a power grab with the internal market bill giving london centric westminster tories power over all the other nations what would you suggest would help the welsh government and the other nations gain back its powers which they have been robbed of?

Arwyn
Arwyn
11 days ago
Reply to  George Bodley

They’re already trying to build the case for federalism. I think that’s their play. I think it’s a mistake – it’ll be batted off by the Tories. Their only hope of that sort of constitutional change depends on a remarkable alignment of the electoral stars – Scotland, NI, a Lab UK govt and an English electorate ameanable to their constitutional vision. I honestly think a Welsh State would be easier to achieve and do more good.

Wiĺiam Eynon
10 days ago
Reply to  George Bodley

Independance One word

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 days ago

Although I agree with Mark Drakeford, he’s just is stating the obvious. Of course the Tories are deliberate in their decisions that affect our children in poor valley communities. They recently removed the additional £80 per month Universal Credit payment that aided Welsh families during the pandemic while giving Conservative family & friends millions in PPE contacts. How twisted? The Conservatives are all about collective punishment. And if it means our children are in the firing line, so be it. They will happily destroy our future generation’s hopes, aspirations & dreams without batting an eyelid. They did it in the… Read more »

Grayham Jones
10 days ago

We in wales have got to stop being little and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Wiĺiam Eynon
10 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Totally agree

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