UK Government Minister Guto Bebb MP set out the UK Government’s commitment to tackling poverty in Wales at a Policy Forum for Wales event in Cardiff today (12 October).
The Minister told an audience of senior politicians and academics about the Prime Minister’s mission to “build a country where no one and no community is left behind,” by improving access to employment and making it pay to be in work.
In his speech to the forum, the Minister demonstrated the impact that record employment across the UK (as well as 93,000 more people in work in Wales than in 2010) and the introduction of the National Living Wage is having on reducing absolute poverty.
The Minister also spoke about UK Government plans to reduce the number of children living in workless families, by introducing statutory measures to address parental worklessness and children’s educational attainment, areas known to make the biggest difference to disadvantaged children.
UK Government Minister for Wales Guto Bebb said:
This government is serious about tackling poverty in Wales. We’ve taken decisive action to create the right conditions for employment, making sure that more people are in work and are earning a living wage.
Welfare reform in Wales is transforming the lives of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds for the better. Universal Credit is simplifying the tax and benefit system while supporting those on the lowest incomes.
Creating the correct conditions for job creation through the ambitious Industrial Strategy remains at the heart of the UK Government’s priorities. I am optimistic that as we leave the EU, we will develop a new and lasting partnership which enables businesses across the UK to continue to trade with their partners in the EU.
The UK Government recognises how important the availability of affordable housing is in the fight against poverty. That’s why last week the Prime Minister announced £2bn to be made available to increase the affordable housing stock in England, and I ask the Welsh Government to consider if a similar policy is needed in Wales.