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Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip

First published:
19 June 2023
Last updated:

As a Welsh Government we are committed to addressing child poverty as an absolute priority, and our Programme for Government commitments are being shaped and delivered with the need to combat poverty and inequality as a central driver. We must also recognise that the major levers for tackling poverty such as welfare benefits and many fiscal powers sit with the UK Government, and there are therefore limits to what Welsh Government can do. This means for us to make a real difference we must implement Made in Wales solutions.

We are committed to making a real difference in Wales and will do everything we can, within our resources, to offer Made in Wales solutions that address the particular needs of children, their families and communities. To help us achieve this, the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010  places a duty on Welsh Ministers to set child poverty objectives and to report every three years on progress towards achieving those objectives. 

Last year I announced publication of the Child poverty strategy: 2022 progress report  and set out my commitment to revise our Child Poverty Strategy and set out a renewed undertaking to tackle poverty and inequality.

Today I am launching the formal consultation on a revised Child Poverty Strategy for Wales.

The draft strategy builds on the investments of the last decade, refocuses the 2015 objectives for supporting families out of poverty and prioritises actions to mitigate both the harmful effects of living in poverty and improve the opportunities for children living in poverty.

This strategy has been co-constructed with families with lived experience of poverty and the organisations that support them.  Over 3,300 individuals, including over 1,400 children and young people have given their time to talk to us and help us understand what we need to prioritise as we deliver on tackling poverty and inequality across government. 

I am very grateful to everyone who has engaged with us on this important work and to the organisations that have enabled this engagement. I would also like to thank members of the External Reference Group, facilitated via the End Child Poverty Network Cymru for their expertise and support.

The strategy seeks to ensure that key policies currently under development and those in the future deliver the Welsh Government’s policy on addressing poverty. It also sets the direction for our partners and stakeholders across Wales to enable better collaboration in the delivery of our poverty outcomes.

Through our engagement we heard about issues where there are already policies in place, however it is clear that some of our policy ambitions are not making as big a difference as we would like, in the day to day lives of people. While our legislation does not provide for us to direct partners, we know that stronger cross-government working will be important in supporting more effective regional and local collaboration.

We have identified five objectives which we believe reflect the areas we must continue to take forward to make a measurable change to the lives of children and young people in poverty, including those with protected characteristics, and deliver for the families and communities that children and young people are growing up in

We have then identified five priorities to deliver against each of these objectives which are described under each objective. These priorities are based on what we have heard will make the biggest difference from children and young people, and the families and organisations supporting them. This consultation is an opportunity for people to tell us whether we have understood what we have been told and if they agree with the priority issues we have identified.

We are determined to work across the Welsh Government to make maximum use of the powers available to us. We will work together with our partners towards a Wales where every child, young person and family can prosper.