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Now is the time to solve poverty

October 12th 2020

At the start of Challenge Poverty week, Steffan Evans sets out why now is the time to take action to solve poverty

Two children eating school lunch

2020 was meant to be the year that we eradicated child poverty in Wales. As we start Challenge Poverty week, however, 180,000 children still live in poverty. With Covid 19 and its economic impact set to disproportionately hit the poorest in our society this winter, Challenge Poverty Week has never been more important.

Poverty is not inevitable. Throughout the week the Bevan Foundation and partners from across Wales will be holding a series of events to highlight some of the solutions to poverty. There are things that we know that work in reducing poverty.

Being in a good, well paid job, significantly reduces someone’s risk of living in poverty. A generous and fair social security system can provide a safety net for all. The provision of good quality, affordable housing reduces the pressures faced by families. With this winter set to be one of the most difficult in decades and with an election also on the horizon, we will, this week, set out some short and long term actions that can be taken to put these solutions into place.

Amongst the things to keep an eye out for is the launch of our latest report, Transforming Wales: how Welsh public services and benefits can reduce poverty and inequality. You can register for free to hear some of our ideas for change.

On World Food Day we will be hosting a watch party for the short film, Nout but a fleeting thing, followed by an expert panel discussion on how we can develop a more sustainable and affordable food system. Again, it’s free to register and promises to be a fantastic event.

Other topics we’ll cover include the impact of Covid 19 on work, the role of social housing as a solution to poverty and the importance of poverty within the growing debate around independence. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media channels to keep up to date or check out our timetable to find out more about what we and our partners will be doing to mark the week.

Covid 19 has thrown the extent of inequality within our society and the impact of poverty into sharp relief. Solving poverty should always be a priority but it is even more important than ever that it is an issue that is front and centre come the election campaign for the Senedd next year. Challenge Poverty week provides us with an opportunity to kick off that debate. Now is the time to solve poverty.

Steffan Evans is a Policy and Research Officer at the Bevan Foundation. To find out more about how you can support the Foundation’s work and to learn how you can Chip in to Challenge Poverty, click here.

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