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Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
Minister for Housing and Regeneration Carl Sargeant has launched a White Paper for consultation on the Welsh Government’s legislative proposals to improve arrangements for renting homes.
- Cardiff Airport key to Wales’ position in global market – First Minister
- Culture Minister pledges support to Welsh broadcast industry
- Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Oral - Child Poverty
Presiding Officer, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to provide an update on proposals to address one of the top priorities of the whole Assembly Government - the tackling of child poverty. We are fortunate to be able to undertake this work against a ten year backdrop in which good progress has been made in reducing relative child poverty rates in Wales. The key benchmark figures here show a fall in the proportion of children living in less well-off households from 35% to 28%. This is a bigger drop than the rest of the GB and, for the first time since figures have been collected in this way, the Welsh rate is now below the GB average. Moreover, if we were to look back over that 10 year horizon, and freeze the poverty line as it was inherited after the last Conservative government then, updating that figure in line with inflation, there has been a far larger decline in the number of children living below that income level. Using this measure around 100,000 children have been moved above the poverty line in Wales over the last decade. But there are still around 120,000 children who remain below that inherited poverty level , and 28% in relative poverty. This is much too many and as there is evidence that the rate of progress is slowing down, we must redouble our efforts. The abolition of child poverty is a key requirement in achieving a socially just and economically prosperous country here in Wales.
Poverty means not having enough money in your pocket to keep in touch with the life of the community around you. But it is about more than money. It means, far too often, poor services, poor prospects and a sense of being left out and left behind. It is because we recognise this wider sense of poverty that the Assembly Government has three distinct strands in our strategic approach:Improving income levels for families and children in poverty from UK government sources; Supplementary work here in Wales to promote financial well-being; Work here in Wales to improve the life chances of children and families in poverty.
We recognise that the UK government’s commitment to tackle income poverty is central to abolishing child poverty in Wales. There are two dimensions to their approach a) improving benefit entitlement and b) getting more parents into work and making sure that being in work pays – because, for those who can, work remains the best route out of poverty. The most recent Westminster budget statements are intended to remove another 300,000 from poverty. We, in Wales, can supplement these direct measures to promote family income by improving benefit uptake in vulnerable families.
The One Wales Agreement commits us to putting a comprehensive advice service in place across Wales. We have been working with a wide range of partners to achieve this and there is £250,000 in our draft budget to assist in this work and our wider Financial Inclusion Strategy. These services will have a clear focus on children, and in ensuring that we get every possible penny for Welsh families to which they are entitled. Alongside this it is also vital to improve access to financial services and to improve financial literacy. The draft budget has put £1.25m to support our commitment to have access to a credit union in every secondary school and £2.5 million to support our commitment to add to the Child Trust Fund for all children entering compulsory education in Wales. The Children’s Minister has also announced that the new school curriculum will include modules on improving financial literacy. But, as I said at the outset, our commitment to tackling child poverty must be seen as a means to an end -- to giving our children and young people the best start in life. And to achieve this we must work to a wider agenda than just an income maximization programme, as vital as that may be.
Already we are engaged in a wide range of activity which is targeted at children and families facing multiple disadvantages. In health, we have initiatives such as the NSF for Children and Maternity Services and programmes aimed at tackling inequality in the dental health of children. In education, we have the Flying Start Programme, RAISE, the Foundation Phase, the 14 - 19 learning pathways, as well as the pending report on young people who are not in employment, education and training. In housing, we have extended the category of vulnerability to include care leavers and have acted to eliminate the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families with children.
All this is evidence of this Government’s broader policy intent. More specifically we also have the £57m Cymorth programme which is specifically targeted at disadvantaged children. The programme is subject to evaluation and we need to make sure its future evolution continues to be well focused on those children who face multiple disadvantage.
Equally the progress we are making in getting people back into work will make a significant contribution to reducing child poverty. We know that only 12% of children in households where all adults are in work live in poverty, a figure which rises to 78% of children in workless households.
We must continue to work closely with the DWP and Job Centre Plus to get more people into work and build on what has been achieved through programmes such as Want 2 Work and Genesis Cymru. Childcare has a major role in context both to improve children’s experiences as well as allowing parents to work and train.
A large proportion, but not all, children who live in poverty live in our most disadvantaged communities. And in this context the next phase of the Communities First programme, Communities Next, will place a high priority on tackling child poverty and disadvantage.
We need to make sure that the policies we are developing are well evidence based and carried through to a proper and practical conclusion. It is for this reason we are establishing an Expert Group who will provide us with advice and help to proof our policies and programmes. And we will develop a Child Well Being Monitor to verify our progress and it will be a key vehicle in reporting to the CYP Cabinet Committee which will lead in this area and whose work will be underpinned by a new statutory requirement on public bodies to demonstrate their commitment to tackling child poverty.
Presiding Officer, the whole of this administration places the highest priority on addressing child poverty in Wales.
We recognise that the nature of the devolution settlement means that many of the major, direct policy levers do not lie in the Assembly Government’s hands. In my view, this only means that we have to work extra hard to put the tools we do have to beneficial use.
Presiding Officer, I look forward to reporting on the progress of the work we have set in hand over the lifetime of this Assembly.