I am deeply concerned by figures released today by End Child Poverty which show that nearly 25% of all children in Delyn are currently living in poverty after housing costs.
The figures are broken down by wards and show that the ward with the highest level of child poverty after housing costs is Holywell Central with a rate of 42.61%. This is followed by:
• Flint Castle: 41.9%
• Bagillt West: 34.41%
• Flint Oakenholt: 33.03%
• Mold Broncoed: 32.6%
Last year the Children’s Society revealed statistics which noted that 3,417 children were living in poverty. The statistics released by End Child Poverty show that this has increased to 3,560 for the whole of Delyn.
The causes for child poverty are multiple. The rising cost of living has placed a large number of in work families into poverty, undermining the principle that work should pay. Currently, inflation is running at 3% whereas weekly earnings are growing at a mere 2.2%. This 0.7% deficit is meaning that people have less disposable income as the cost of food, heating and transport continue to rise. We are now living in the longest squeeze on living standards since the Napoleonic wars.
The Welsh Government is working hard with Labour MPs to tackle this crisis as the Westminster UK Government continues to fail to tackle the pressures on people’s wages. We have seen that unemployment in Delyn has increased in recent months and investment into our local economy has fallen from the UK Government.
The rise in child poverty in Delyn is deeply worrying. Each child who falls into poverty has their life chances dramatically undermined. When Labour was in government in Westminster we were able to lift half a million children out of poverty. 13 years of hard work is being undermined by this Conservative UK Government.
Most shocking is the fact that nearly half of all children in Holywell Central are now living in poverty. I know that the Welsh Government, local council and charities are working hard to help people in desperate need. I am tackling the UK Government on their inability to tackle the cost of living crisis. It is ridiculous that we are now in the longest period of living standards decline since the Napoleonic wars.
If the UK Government fail to get a grip on high inflation and low wage growth the situation will only get worse. I want to see more investment to the Flintshire local economy. We are a community with so much to offer – from tourism to specialist expertise in modern manufacturing and renewable energy. We just need a Westminster government that is willing to support us.