Child Poverty

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1999.

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Photo of Dr Alan Williams Dr Alan Williams Labour, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 12:00 am, 1st December 1999

What representations he has received concerning the problem of child poverty in Wales. [98882]

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I regularly discuss this issue with colleagues and the appropriate Assembly Secretary to ensure that we are working together to achieve the Government's target of ending child poverty in Wales within 20 years. I am pleased to note that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security is in Cardiff today to meet the First Secretary and to invite the Assembly to take part in a joint ministerial group on tackling child poverty.

Photo of Dr Alan Williams Dr Alan Williams Labour, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

Does my hon. Friend agree that most of the poorest families in Wales have young children? The working families tax credit will be a massive help, but so far only half the 2,000 families entitled to it in my constituency have applied. Will he arrange that, wherever Father Christmas goes in the next few weeks, he will take with him a bunch of leaflets explaining the credit?

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The working families tax credit is an important part of the Government's overall strategy on tackling child poverty. In Wales, some 65,000 people could benefit from it. Take-up is one of the important issues that we need to face. The important thing about the working families tax credit is not just that the Government have provided it but that the Opposition voted against it.