How can poverty be reduced in Wales? A National Assembly for Wales committee has been looking at poverty in Wales, and suggesting how the Welsh Government can do more to help people struggling to get by
Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas visiting Chwarae Teg in Llanelli, where he asked participants about the impacts of poverty, particularly destitution and extreme poverty, on different groups of people.
Assembly Member Janet Finch-Saunders visited the RNIB in north Wales, where the Committee was looking at poverty and inequality. Participants were asked about a range of issues, from their lived experiences of poverty to recommendations for improvements.
We spoke directly with people living in poverty to hear about their experiences and asked them what would help them.
Because of what people told us, we made some conclusions and had some ideas about how the lives of people struggling with money could be improved.
“About 79,000 people were referred to Trussell Trust food banks in Wales last year, which was around 122% more than the previous year ... around half of them were referred because the welfare system had, in some way, let them down— either there was a delay in their claim being processed or a sudden change to the level of payments they were receiving” - Adrian Curtis, Trussell Trust
I hope these conclusions reflect what people told us during this piece of work. We will await the Welsh Government’s reply to our report, but will continue examining this issue in the meantime.
After this, we are planning to look specifically at the effectiveness of Welsh Government programmes to tackle poverty such as Communities First and Flying Start. Following this, we will do some further work about why over half of those living in poverty live in working households.
Christine Chapman AM, Chair of the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee