Wales 2011 – One in Four in Poverty…and it’s getting worse.

Quoting the Rowntree Foundation Press Release below:

New Joseph Rowntree Foundation research released today shows that meeting the Welsh Government’s target of eradicating child poverty by 2020 will mean the rate has to fall four times more quickly over the next ten years than it did over the last decade. The latest figures also show almost one in four people in Wales across all age groups – 680,000 – are in poverty.
The research, carried out by Anushree Parekh and Peter Kenway of the New Policy Institute, shows that the child poverty rate fell quite quickly from the early 2000s up to 2005/06, but has risen again since then. Although the rate is still less than a decade ago, the proportion of children living in low-income households has gone up by five per cent over the last five years to 33 per cent – around 200,000 children.

The research is here. (A small pdf) and a similar 2009 study on Northern Ireland is here.
Here’s the Foundation’s Michael Trikey on the Welsh findings.

This is confirmed in the latest JRF Minimum Income Standards report this week. It reveals a staggering increase of over 20 per cent over the last year in the income couples, and single parents with children paying for childcare, need in order to have an acceptable standard of living. Rising prices together with frozen or reduced in-work benefits are the main cause of this squeeze. Low-income families are particularly vulnerable, although the impact extends more widely.
Wales has the highest poverty ‘after housing costs’ poverty rate of the four UK countries. Against a background of sluggish growth, pay freezes, public spending cuts, and fundamental changes in the approach to welfare and tax, the battle against poverty in Wales is going to require a herculean, fully-integrated response from government at all levels, public services and the community as a whole.

The Document is formally issued at the Urdd Centre in Cardiff Bay at 11.00am this morning.
On a positive note the progress made in the early years of the last decade means thing are not as bad as they were 10 years ago – but there’s a fairly brutal combination of low wage, few jobs, food and fuel inflation and pathetic transport infrastructure that’s really hitting the vulnerable hard at the moment.