Responding to the publication of the Welsh Labour Government’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan, Mark Isherwood AM, Shadow Minister for Communities and Housing, said:
“Today we hear more warm words about tackling poverty from a Welsh Labour Government which has made little progress in meeting its anti-poverty commitments during almost a decade and a half in power.
“Many of Wales’ most deprived communities have been represented by Labour politicians for the best part of a century and despite the spending of billions of pounds of EU funds, remain amongst the poorest parts of Europe.
“Wales had the UK’s highest child poverty levels and double the UK rate of working age worklessness before the credit crunch and change in UK Government, so it’s a bit rich for Labour to now blame the Conservative-led Coalition for its own failures.
“Welsh Labour Ministers need to realise that the way out of poverty is not through short-term grants and schemes, but through education, empowering communities, liberating the third sector and helping the private sector to grow to create sustainable and skilled jobs.
“Instead of spouting more promises and platitudes, Welsh Labour Ministers should take responsibility for failing to tackle child poverty during the years of plenty when their party was on a spending spree.
“As Wales is set to qualify for a third round of EU funding, Welsh Labour Ministers must show they have learnt the lessons of past mistakes and deliver value for money for every penny in helping disadvantaged families out of poverty.”