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'Multi million pound investment' for Merthyr and RTC

The Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty, Vaughan Gething, will highlight more than £20 million of Welsh Government investment over the next two years to support Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff's most deprived communities.

Speaking at a special event looking at efforts to address poverty in south Wales, he will outline the number of initiatives in place to help the most vulnerable and improve their life chances.

The Welsh Government is facing unprecedented cuts. By 2015 -16 our budget will be nearly £1.7 billion less than it was in 2010 - 11.

Despite this, we are determined to invest in our most deprived communities to help improve health, education and life chances.

That is why we have a multi-million pound investment support package in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff. We are committed to helping people have a better chance of finding work and supporting parents facing the reality of managing on tight budget.

We know that the UK Government's welfare reform agenda is hitting hard with less help for hardworking parents as cuts to tax credits, cuts in help with childcare costs and the bedroom tax really bite.

The Welsh Government's approach is based on a different set of values and priorities. We know that to make the biggest possible difference to people's lives all of us across the public and voluntary sector need to work together much more effectively.

– Vaughan Gething, Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty

Welsh Govt investment to help deprived communities

More than £20m is being invested to support Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taff's most deprived communities Credit: PA

The Welsh Government is investing more than £20 million over the next two years to support Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff's most deprived communities, the Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty Vaughan Gething will highlight today.

The minister will outline the number of initiatives in place to help the most vulnerable and improve their life chances.

The investment includes the Welsh Government's flagship programme to help those living in the poorest areas of Wales, Communities First.

It works to improve health, prosperity and encourages access to education and learning. Communities First in Merthyr Tydfil will receive £1.9 million, while Rhondda Cynon Taff will get £5 million.

The policy works alongside 'Families First' which is aimed at improving the way agencies work together and places a clear emphasis on early intervention for families, particularly those living in poverty, to help stop problems from escalating towards crisis.

Merthyr Tydfil is to receive £1,170,000 for Families First, while Rhondda Cynon Taff £3.8 million.

Both areas will also benefit from the expansion of Flying Start that supports children have the right start in life.

It provides eligible parents free quality childcare for children under the age of four, parenting support, an enhanced health visitor service and help with their children's early language development.

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£15m to help tackle poverty in Wales

Wales has the highest level of child poverty in the UK. Credit: PA

Some of the most disadvantaged communities in Wales will be supported through a £15m investment announced today by the Big Lottery Fund.

Wales has the highest level of child poverty in the UK, with 23 per cent of the population living in poverty.

The Big Lottery Fund is setting up an independent trust to distribute the money to some of the poorest areas in Wales.

Poorest areas funding for money and housing advice

The Welsh Government is investing £2.4m to provide money and housing advice to Wales' poorest communities.

It says the cash will be used by Citizens Advice Cymru to help and estimated 19,000 people, targeting 36 communities in total.

The money will help those in Wales' poorest communities.

A recent consultation showed that many people are put off seeking advice because of the cost of travelling to information centres.

Many people also were unaware that help was available to them.

Welsh Government must 'protect most vulnerable'

Vaughan Gething, Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty has responded to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on ethnic minority groups in poverty in Wales.

This report sheds further light on the experience of poverty upon people from different community backgrounds. This will help to inform how we act with them to resolve their problems.

The Welsh Government has a strong track record of commitment to social justice and equality of opportunity. The current economic climate makes it even more important that we take action to prioritise the needs of the poorest and to protect those most vulnerable to poverty and marginalisation

This research shows again that where people live can make a big difference to their experience of poverty and their likelihood of gaining work.

“That is why our approach to tackling poverty has a strong focus on narrowing the educational attainment gap, raising skills and bringing job opportunities to poorer communities.

– Vaughan Gething, Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty

'Gaps in Welsh Government policy' on poverty

There are calls for the Welsh Government to provide better intergration of poverty and equality policies.

It comes after a report by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that the Welsh Government's Tackling Poverty Plan is unlikely to succeed if it overlooks the specific needs of different ethnic groups living in poverty.

The Welsh Government has signalled its commitment to both reducing poverty and mitigating its impact upon people. The report demonstrates that now there needs to be better integration of poverty and equality policies; that there are still some gaps in the policy and the Welsh Government needs to find out if it is policies are working for different groups.

– Duncan Holtom, Head of Research at the People and Work Unit

The Welsh Government has been contacted for a response.

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Poverty report shows 'difficulty of day-to-day life'

A study into ethnic groups in poverty in Wales shows the choices of those in those groups were often limited and influenced by health and skills, gender roles and resources that could help them escape from poverty.

"This report shows the difficulty of day-to-day life for different ethnic groups living in poverty in Wales. There were barriers experienced by all the families, such as the slim prospect of progression in the jobs market."

– Helen Barnard, Policy and Research Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Ethnic minorities in poverty in Wales 'overlooked'

A report released today warns that the Welsh Government's Tackling Poverty Plan is unlikely to succeed if it overlooks the specific needs of different ethnic groups living in poverty.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundations conducted research based on real life experiences of poverty from 27 families from five different ethnic groups - Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Somali, Polish and white British/Welsh.

It found that families in the different groups faced similar barriers that prevented them from climbing out of poverty, such as the difficulty of securing a good job.

The respondents all saw employment as the main pathway out of poverty as well as education and where they lived.

Low pay job market blamed for Wales' 'working poor'

by Tom Sheldrick

There is more poverty in Wales' working households than in those where no one has a job.

The findings, by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, blame a low pay job market.

Currently 690,000 people in Wales are classed as living in poverty - those who have less than 60 per cent of the average income.

That's almost a quarter of the population here - a higher rate than the other countries in the UK - and worst in rural areas.

Furthermore, 285,000 people - half of those classed as in poverty - are struggling despite having a job.

Working mother: 'I can't afford clothes for my son'

Dawn Taylor lives near Ruthin in Denbighshire with her partner and nine-year-old son.

She works two hours per day at the local primary school, and her partner is a painter and decorator.

She told ITV News: "It's a struggle every single day. For Christmas I've asked family and friends: 'Just get my son clothes'. I can't afford to go shopping and buy him clothes."

She added: "We're too honest to say: 'Forget working - we'll go on benefits'. We want to work. But we're struggling."

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