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       The National Child Poverty Coalition for Wales   

       Clymblaid Genedlaethol Tlodi Plant Cymru  

 

 

 

Information bulletin August 2014/

Bwletin gwybodaeth Awst 2014

 

 

Welsh Government/Llywodraeth Cymru

The latest developments from the Welsh Government

Y datblygiadau diweddaraf o Lywodraeth Cymru


 

Welsh Government's Nest scheme helps another 5,000 people in fuel poverty with their energy bills

The Welsh Government's fuel poverty scheme, Nest, provided free home energy improvements to nearly 5,000 homes last year, and helped householders save an average of £475 per household. 

 

 10,000th Jobs Growth Wales participant Chloe lands design job of her dreams

Chloe Bignell, from Llanelli, is the 10,000th person to have secured a job with Jobs Growth Wales - the Welsh Government's European Social Fund-backed programme which provides unemployed young people with a six-month paid job opportunity.

 

A third more children get a Flying Start as report shows tens of thousands benefit from scheme

More than 31,000 children in Wales benefited from Flying Start services last year, according to a new Welsh Government report. The new figures show that a third more children were benefiting from Flying Start services than the year before (31,322 compared with 23,579). To mark this achievement Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty, Vaughan Gething, was in Bridgend today (16 July) opening two new Flying Start centres.

 

 

  

Wales/Cymru

The latest news from Wales and the National Assembly

Y newyddion diweddaraf o Gymru a'r Cynulliad Cenedlaethol 

 

Report highlights impact of UK government's 'welfare reform' on families in Wales

A new report published by Children in Wales today shows the impact that welfare reform is having on many children and families living in Wales. The report is the result of research which has pulled together poverty related concerns raised by families directly with MPs, AMs and Citizens Advice Bureaux across Wales.

 

Debt, food banks and hardship: A gloomy snapshot of child poverty in Wales 2014 

Some families in Wales are walking miles to food banks to feed their children while others without internet access have had benefits cut because they can't search for jobs demanded by changes to welfare reforms, a report published today shows. Children are suffering as a direct consequence of the Westminster Government's welfare reforms, the report from Children in Wales warns.
 

86,000 Welsh families are trapped by debt with children growing up in poverty, new research shows

Tens of thousands of children in Wales are living in families trapped by debt, research by The Children's Society and the charity StepChange has revealed. A study shows 86,009 families in the country - 23% of the total - are failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments. It means an estimated 148,059 children are living in families with problem debt.

 

Families still struggling to cope, says Shelter Cymru

People are still worried about rising living costs despite a growing economy, according to a survey. Charities said thousands of Welsh families were struggling to cope with many cutting back on food to make ends meet.

 

Financial Education and Inclusion (Wales) Bill

An Assembly Member Bill, introduced by Bethan Jenkins AM. The primary policy objective in relation to the Bill is to equip people in Wales with the necessary financial knowledge and capability they need to manage their financial circumstances effectively. In doing so, the proposals will help to increase prosperity in Wales by improving the financial education and capability of its citizens.

 

Financial Education and Inclusion Bill introduced in to the Assembly

A Private Member's Bill that seeks to promote financial inclusion in Wales has been laid before the Assembly by Bethan Jenkins AM. Bethan Jenkins says that the Financial Education and Inclusion (Wales) Bill aims to address the position where many people in Wales are falling into financial difficulty due to a lack of knowledge and skills in managing money. The Bill's Explanatory Memorandum argues that this is compounded by a tendency, in an adverse economic climate, for people to turn to high interest, unsustainable borrowing as a route to address their financial problems.

 

Financial education in Wales: a pending subject

The announcement of PISA results every three years has become one of those diary events that opposition parties use to scrutinise the Welsh Government on the effectiveness of its work. Less attention is given to the purpose of these OECD tests than to how we compare against other countries, particularly the home nations. As such, the debate becomes one about devolution's record - a political issue - than about whether students are ready to apply what they have learned in the real world, which is what parents and businesses really care about.

 

'It's a disaster waiting to happen': Warning of more 'dire' cuts for Wales local authorities is sounded

A worsening financial climate for Wales' councils will see services disappear across the country as local government continues its swingeing cuts, a former council leader has warned. It comes after Newport council said it will have to find £13m in cuts next year - some £8m more it had previously expected.

 

Liberal Democrats promise fairer funding deal for Wales

Wales could benefit from hundreds of millions of pounds under Lib Dem plans to change the way funds are allocated to devolved nations, it has been claimed. The current system, known as the Barnett formula, is based on population levels and has long been criticised for short-changing Wales.
 

 

 

 

United Kingdom/Y Deyrnas Unedig

Child poverty developments covering the UK

Datblygiadau tlodi plant sy'n cwmpasu'r DU

  

 

David Cameron says policies must pass 'family test'

All government policies will have to pass a "family test", David Cameron is expected to say in a speech later. He will argue that parents and children are too often overlooked and can be left worse off by reforms. From October, every new domestic policy "will be examined for its impact on the family", the prime minister will say. Labour said he did not understand families' needs, with more households now dependent on food banks and early learning centres closing owing to cuts. 
 

Social recovery 'matching economy', Iain Duncan Smith to say.

The government is matching economic recovery with social recovery, Iain Duncan Smith is due to say in a speech. Changes to the benefits system have had a key role in getting people back into work and ending the culture of welfare dependency, the work and pensions secretary will say.

 

Children's Commissioner to investigate impact of family immigration rules

The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England has launched an investigation into the harm family immigration rule changes are causing to children. The government brought in tougher family immigration rules in 2012 including a minimum income threshold for UK residents wanting to bring a non-EU partner or other family member into the country.

 

Benefit policies 'push asylum-seeking children into poverty'

A government funding freeze on support for asylum-seeking children in the UK has been heavily criticised in a report by The Children's Society. The report, From Persecution to Destitution, estimates more than 10,000 children seeking asylum in the UK, often those fleeing from war, violence and persecution, are being pushed into poverty.

 

Working families 'don't earn enough to live on'

Low wages, benefits cuts and the rising cost of raising children are leaving full-time working families struggling to afford a basic standard of living, a report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found. The report, Cost of a Child in 2014, which was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found the income of families in full-time jobs at the national minimum wage is 18 per cent short of the basic amount needed to achieve a minimum standard of living.
 

Low-income families on breadline as cost of raising a child increases

The Child Poverty Action Group's report, 'Cost of a Child 2014' reveals that since 2012, the minimum cost of bringing up a child has risen by nearly eight per cent for a couple to £164.19 per week. For lone parents, the cost has risen by more than 11 per cent to £184.50 per week. 

  

Britain's young deserve better from this government

In an impassioned speech on childhood, a rare event in today's political landscape, in 2008 David Cameron vowed that if he won power he would tackle, among other issues, the "hostile" environment in which parents operate, the challenge of child poverty and the rising cost of living. His ambition was admirable. "We really can make this country the best place in the world for children to grow up," he said. Six years on, at the end of the school year and the beginning of the long holidays - with a dearth of holiday childcare places according to the charity 4Children - it's a good time to examine progress. 
 

Voluntary sector suffers 'collateral damage' in push for David Cameron's Big Society

Voluntary sector groups have become "collateral damage" in the push to funnel funds and projects to David Cameron's flagship Big Society Network, a leading charity executive said yesterday. Andy Thornton, a former government adviser and chief executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said funding to established charities with strong track records had dropped significantly while money was poured into failed Big Society Network projects.
 

Number of young people buying new home plunges to record low

The number of young people buying a new home has plunged to a record low of 3 per cent, new figures have revealed. Figures compiled by estate agents revealed that just a fraction of the homes sold in June were to buyers aged between 18 and 30. The figure marks a steep fall from last August when the age group made up 12% of homebuyers.


 We need a better understanding of poverty to change attitudes

Clearly we need to break the cycle of dependency that traps people in poverty and prevent people falling through the gaps, but the question is how? As a rule, there is a distinct lack of knowledge among those who are not in poverty. It is not a pleasant topic of conversation, nor one that as individuals we can do much about.

 

Energy probe should look at gas market too, warns MP

The forthcoming competition inquiry into the UK's energy companies should also investigate the wholesale gas market, a senior MP has warned. Tim Yeo, chairman of the Energy Committee, has written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is running the inquiry. He said the investigation would be "compromised from the outset" if it did not look at wholesale gas prices.

 

Parents forced to take time off work because of holiday childcare shortage

The Family and Childcare Trust's annual 'Holiday Childcare Survey', says often 'patchy' and expensive out-of-school provision means parents are forced to take time off work to look after their children during the six-week summer break. The research is based on a Netmums poll of 1,587 parents in partnership with the charity, along with responses from 177 local authority Family Information Services.
 

 

 

 

   

Welfare reform/Diwygio lles

News about benefits and the UK Government's programme of reform

Newyddion am fudd-daliadau a rhaglen ddiwygio Llywodraeth y DU

 

Austerity cuts affecting children's health rights

Cuts in health services in countries across Europe are affecting citizens' universal access to health care, including children, said Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights. In his latest "Human Rights Comment", Mr Muiznieks defined children as a vulnerable group, pointing out that austerity measures are giving rise to increasing poverty, homelessness and malnutrition.

 

Sanctions against those on sickness benefit up 350 per cent in Government crackdown

Soaring numbers of sick or disabled people are being punished by having their benefits taken away in a Government crackdown that experts say is pushing the most vulnerable in society to destitution.


 

The UK's disability benefits system requires a "fundamental redesign" because flaws in the process are so "grave", a report by MPs has said. A Commons committee said replacing the firm Atos - which until March assessed whether people were fit to work - would not address the problems "on its own".

 

Government to overhaul benefits sanctions process

The government is to overhaul the way it treats benefit recipients threatened by sanctions, after an independent report it commissioned showed systematic failings in the process, including disproportionate burdens placed on the most vulnerable.

 

Thinktank proposes cap on child benefit to cut welfare spending

Child benefit should be limited to four children per household and reduced to bring down welfare spending, according to a report from Policy Exchange. Researchers for the thinktank argued that this can be justified because the arrival of a first child tends to have the biggest impact on family finances, and say the move could save around £1bn over the course of a parliament.
 

 'No one should die penniless and alone': the victims of Britain's harsh welfare sanctions

David Clapson was found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he wasn't taking the search for work seriously. He had an empty stomach, and just £3.44 to his name. Now thousands of other claimants are being left in similarly dire straits by tough new welfare sanctions.

 

The Beveridge report revisited: where now for the welfare state?

After unprecedented public spending cuts, we revisit Sir William Beveridge's welfare state 70 years on and explore the modern evils that society professionals must battle and defeat.  

 

Legal aid cuts have left family courts 'at breaking point'

The family courts system is at breaking point due to delays caused by unrepresented litigants and overstretched judges, according to the body that represents lawyers and professionals in divorce hearings. Jo Edwards, a solicitor and the newly appointed chair of Resolution, fears that a two-tier system of justice is emerging where private clients opt out of overcrowded, slow-moving public courts in favour of private arbitration hearings.

 

 Housing associations urge benefit claimants to pay extra rent in advance

People on benefits are being told by housing associations to make extra rent payments in advance from now on, to avoid ending up in financial difficulties and then in court once they are transferred to the new system of universal credit, the Observer has learned.  

 

 

 

    

Consultations/Ymgynghoriadau

The latest consultations from Wales and the UK

Yr ymgynghoriadau diweddaraf o Gymru a'r DU 


 

Review of the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment Duty on Local Authorities

The Welsh Government is consulting on the future development of Childcare Sufficiency Assessments (CSAs) in Wales. The Welsh Government made a commitment in its early years strategy, Building a Brighter Future: Early Years and Childcare Plan, to reviewing the duty on Local Authorities to undertake Childcare Sufficiency Assessments (CSAs). Consultation ends: 30/10/14.

 

Consultation on Learning and Assessment Practice Guidance

The Care Council for Wales is consulting on its Best Practice Guidance for learning and assessment in social care, the care of children and young people and early years in Wales. The consultation is relevant for learning providers, assessors, verifiers, teachers and lectures in social care, early years and childcare. Consultation ends: 24/10/14.

 

General principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill

The Environment and Sustainability Committee of the National Assembly for Wales is consulting for its inquiry into the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill. The inquiry will into how the Welsh Government should legislate to put sustainable development at the heart of the Government's work, the general aspects of the Bill and the need for legislation, financial implications of the Bill, and any barriers to or unintended consequences which may arise from the Bill. Consultation ends: 05/09/14.

 

Inquiry into Poverty: consultation, 17/07/14 [W]

The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee of the National Assembly for Wales has launched a public consultation as part of its Inquiry into Poverty in Wales. The inquiry will consider how effectively government strategies are working, what effect poverty is having on different groups of people, and how legislation, policy and budgets aimed at reducing poverty and inequality are prioritised across the Welsh Government. Consultation ends: 12/09/14

 

Consultation on the National Minimum Wage, youth and apprentice rates

The Low Pay Commission is consulting on the National Minimum Wage. The Commission is seeking evidence on levels of the National Minimum Wage to make recommendations to the Government. This includes looking at the minimum wages for apprentices and young people, and looking at what conditions should be in place for the minimum wage to increase in real terms. Consultation ends: 26/09/14.

 

 

Documents and reports/Dogfennau ac adroddiadau

Research and policy relating to child poverty issues

Ymchwil a pholisi mewn perthynas â materion tlodi plant

Child and Family Poverty in Wales A snapshot of key issues raised by families

This research project was conducted by Children in Wales, between January and March 2014, to explore key poverty related issues raised by families in Wales for discussion at Assembly Member (AM) and Member of Parliament (MP) surgeries and with representatives at Citizens Advice Bureaux across Wales.

 

The Cost of a Child in 2014

This report by the Child Poverty Action Group, jointly funded with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, shows the results of research on the costs of raising a child. Many families struggle to afford the extra costs that children bring such as childcare, food, clothing and everyday outings. The report has found that while the economy of the UK is improving, wages have been stagnant for some time, leaving families less able to attain an adequate standard of living. State support such as child benefit and welfare payments have been capped below the rate of inflation, leaving many vulnerable to poverty.

 

The Debt Trap: Exposing the impact of problem debt on children

The Children's Society and Step Change has published a report on child poverty. The research shows that 23% of families in Wales are failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments, meaning that an estimated 148,059 children are living in families with problem debt. Family debt puts stress on family relationships, and can lead to a downward spiral of borrowing. 

 

The Welsh Government's Legislative Programme: 2014 update - Research paper

The Research Service of the National Assembly for Wales has produced a paper about the 2014 update of the Welsh Government's Legislative Programme.The First Minister made a statement in Plenary on the Welsh Government's legislative programme in Plenary on 15 July 2014, outlining the legislation that will be brought forward in the year ahead.

 

Public libraries in Wales

The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee of the National Assembly for Wales has produced a report following its inquiry into public libraries in Wales. The report emphasises the important role contemporary libraries play in communities, and looks at financial issues affecting them. It makes recommendations to Welsh Government on how to make best use of libraries in the future.

 

 

    

Education and employment/Addysg a chyflogaeth

Developments in the field of eduation, training and employment for young people

Datblygiadau ym maes addysg, hyfforddiant a chyflogaeth i bobl ifanc

 

Annual statistics on young people not in education, employment or training

Annual statistics recently published show that the proportion of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) has decreased amongst both males and females in both the 16-18 and 19-24 age categories.
 

Youth Contract wage subsidy to end early

The government is to scrap early a key element of its Youth Contract employment scheme in favour of targeted support for young people from black and minority ethnic groups. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed it will bring forward by one month the date from which it will no longer accept applications from employers for the wage incentive element of the scheme. It will now end on 6 August, rather than early September as originally planned.

 

Student loans system is collapsing, MPs warn

The student loans system is collapsing, MPs warn today in a damning Select Committee report. They have called for an urgent review and slammed the Government for "a persistent record of inaccurate debt forecasting and a failure to collect student loans effectively".

 

National Citizen Service pilot for pupils in Wales

Pupils in Wales will get the chance to learn new skills by taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) for the first time. The scheme, aimed at preparing teenagers for work through team-building activities and community projects, already runs in England. Now the UK and Welsh governments have announced a pilot project will start in Wales in the autumn.  

 

Schools Challenge Cymru: Education standards funding fears

There are fears £5m could be diverted from Wales' current schools' improvement programmes to pay for a new scheme also aimed at raising standards.  Earlier this year it was announced £20m would be given to 40 underperforming schools from the new Schools Challenge Cymru fund to help them improve.  

 

Is the future of higher education Open and Online?

Earlier this year the Welsh Government published a significant report on a topic of great importance to the future design and delivery of higher education (HE) in Wales.  'Open & online: Wales, higher education and emerging modes of learning' is a worthwhile and important read for anyone working in the HE sector and in particular those interested in educational practice. 

 

 

 

Links/Cysylltiadau

These websites contain more information on child poverty

Mae'r gwefannau hyn yn cynnwys rhagor o wybodaeth am dlodi plant

 

ECPN Website: http://www.endchildpovertycymru.org.uk
Welsh Government website: http://wales.gov.uk

End Child Poverty Campaign (UK): http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/ 

Robin Hood Tax: http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/ 

 

 

 

ECPN Cymru Logo

 

The National Child Poverty Coalition for Wales

Clymblaid Genedlaethol Tlodi Plant Cymru

  

This monthly bulletin is produced by Children in Wales. Please contact anita.myfanwy@childreninwales.org.uk or hannah.davey@childreninwales.org.uk if you would like to contribute anything to the bulletin.

  

Mae'r bwletin misol hwn yn cael ei gynhyrchu gan Plant yng Nghymru. Cysylltwch ag anita.myfanwy@childreninwales.org.uk neu hannah.davey@childreninwales.org.uk os hoffech chi gyfrannu unrhyw beth at y bwletin.

 

The End Child Poverty Network Cymru is a coalition of concern focused on the eradication of child poverty in Wales. The ECPN is coordinated by Children in Wales.

  

Mae Rhwydwaith Dileu Tlodi Plant Cymru yn glymblaid o bryder sy'n canolbwyntio ar ddileu tlodi plant yng Nghymru. Mae'r Rhwydwaith yn cael ei gyd-drefnu gan Plant yng Nghymru.

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