Child poverty in Wales map published — Swansea East and Aberavon high on list
TWO constituencies in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have some of the highest child poverty levels in Wales.
Today the Campaign to End Child Poverty published the Child Poverty Map of the UK.
It shows that Aberavon has the fourth highest percentage of children living below the relative low income line and Swansea East has the sixth highest.
Twenty-eight per cent in Aberavon are living below the line — that's 3,913 children. The percentage is the same in Swansea East, but with a higher population that means 5,144 are living in poverty.
Sean O'Neill, policy director at children in Wales, said: "In Wales, child poverty levels are particularly challenging with many children and families increasingly struggling just to get by. Low income families in particular are being hit hard by rising food, fuel, energy and childcare costs as wages and benefits struggle to keep up with essential daily expenditure."
At the top of the list was Cardiff South and Penarth with 30 per cent of children living in poverty — 7,352 youngsters. The constituency with the lowest rates was Cardiff North with 11 per cent — 1,967 youngsters.
Out of 40 Welsh constituencies Swansea West comes in at 15th (with 22 per cent), Llanelli is 16th (22 per cent), Neath is 19th (21 per cent), Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire is 26th (17 per cent) and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr is 31st (15 per cent).
At 36 on the table, Gower is the lowest placed in South West Wales (12 per cent), but the area still has 1,909 children living below that line.
Mr O'Neill added: "Although in many parts of South Wales and the Valleys, one in four children now find themselves living below the poverty line, the impact of the UK Government's welfare reforms in Wales is set to hit households with children particularly hard as a report from the Welsh Government released earlier this week shows.
"Despite these challenges, the problems are not surmountable. Although local authorities in Wales are having to make tough financial choices in the current climate, this Report is calling for action to tackle child poverty to be prioritised.
"Surely there can be no greater priority than to protect and invest in local services which help those struggling the most and which help ensure that the next generation of children live a life free from disadvantage. The consequences of not taking positive action will result in more children and families being left behind."
Enver Solomon, UK chairman of the campaign, said the map revealed the length and depth of child poverty across the country.