Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 08:55 UK

Child poverty issues under debate

Child walking on a bridge
It is hoped child poverty will be eradicated by 2020

Identifying child poverty issues specific to Wales rather than using UK-wide information could be used by a new panel set up to tackle the problem.

A panel of experts has been set up to advise the assembly government which has pledged to halve child poverty in Wales by 2010.

The first meeting about the matter is to be held later.

One expert has said UK-wide figures would be less effective in targeting problems facing Welsh children.

The UK and assembly governments say they want to eradicate child poverty by 2020.

The charity Save the Children estimates up to 13% of Welsh children - 90,000 - can be classed as in "severe poverty" because they live in households too poor to provide them with "occasions" such as school trips and holidays.

In February 2007, the UK came bottom of a league table for child well-being created by UNICEF, the United Nations children's organisation.

There's no point using UK figures to target the problems which Welsh children may have
Prof Gordon

The report looked at 40 indicators from the years 2000-2003 including poverty, family relationships, and health.

"The trouble with the UK figure is that it represents the UK as a whole. Some things may be better in Wales, some things may be worse in Wales," said Prof David Gordon who is on the panel.

"There's no point using UK figures to target the problems which Welsh children may have.

"It's not cost effective and, trying to improve problems based on UK measures, you may end up solving problems that don't exist for Welsh children."

He said he hoped a Wales measure of child poverty could be in place from September this year and either meet or surpass the UNICEF standard.

He said: "It shouldn't be that expensive. I think you should be able to do it from existing data. It would be good value for money."


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27 Mar 07 |  UK Politics

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