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Children: Poverty

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers and ministerial colleagues on steps to be taken to reduce levels of child poverty in Wales. (314567)

During recent bi-lateral meetings with Ministers at the Welsh Assembly Government I have discussed the Child Poverty Bill. This Bill commits the Government to eradicating child poverty by 2020 and will enshrine in law an ambitious set of targets to achieve this goal.

The Government are also taking action to assist children from low income families across the UK through the introduction of Child Trust Funds enabling families to save for their children's future with additional funding for low income households. 64,000 children in Wales will benefit from an additional Welsh premium. The Government have also ensured an increase in the child element of child tax credit benefiting an estimated 380,000 children and in child benefit, benefiting an estimated 640,000 children in Wales.

The Welsh Assembly Government are further complementing these efforts through the introduction of legislation such as the proposed Children and Families (Wales) Measure underpinning their commitment to the target set for 2020. This recognises families in poverty often face multiple disadvantages requiring specialist and intensive support. The Welsh Assembly Government also has in place a range of policies aimed at tackling child poverty including employment support programmes, childcare initiatives, education and health programmes and Communities First interventions.