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Question to the First Minister: Housing Benefit Cuts

  05/02/2013   Mark Drakeford: Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi’i wneud o’r camau a gymerir gan awdurdodau lleol yng Nghymru i liniaru ar effaith toriadau mewn budd-daliadau tai hanfodol.   [What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the actions being taken by local authorities in Wales to mitigate the impact of cuts in essential housing benefits.]     Carwyn Jones: We have contacted all local authorities to ascertain what has been undertaken to assess the impacts of welfare reform. Of the 16 that have responded so far, five have undertaken bespoke impact assessments. Clearly, there needs to be a more proactive response from other local authorities in Wales in order to ensure that the most vulnerable people that they have are placed in the best position possible.     Mark Drakeford: The iniquities of the coalition's policy in relation to housing benefit cuts have been well rehearsed in this Chamber. Will you join me in commending the efforts of Cardiff and other Labour councillors elsewhere in Wales to deploy every flexibility that they are able to assemble so that, for example, foster parents are not forced to give up their vital work for the lack of a bedroom, Read more [...]

FMQ: Youth Unemployment

  Dydd Mawrth, 4 Rhagfyr 2012 Tuesday, 4 December 2012   Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am fynd i’r afael â diweithdra ymysg pobl ifanc yng Nghymru. [Mark Drakeford: Will the First Minister make a statement on tackling youth unemployment in Wales.]   The First Minister: We see this as a key priority, and that is why have established key programmes such as Jobs Growth Wales.   Mark Drakeford: The Cardiff West constituency has been badly affected by increasing youth employment, with rates doubling in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the constituency. It is all the more welcome, therefore, to see that 614 new job opportunities have already been created in Cardiff alone through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme. First Minister, is there any early evidence emerging of the rate at which chances taken up under the scheme are converting into permanent employment opportunities for young people and how does that information compare with the record of similar schemes elsewhere?   The First Minister: It is not often in Government that you get the opportunity to say that something is exceeding your wildest expectations, but Jobs Growth Wales is such a programme. Initial figures Read more [...]

Child Poverty in Wales

  Dydd Mawrth, 20 Tachwedd 2012 Tuesday, 20 November 2012   Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am fynd i’r afael â thlodi plant yng Nghymru. [Will the First Minister make a statement on addressing child poverty in Wales.]   The First Minister: Tackling child poverty is a fundamental priority for the Welsh Government and features in the 'Tackling Poverty Action Plan’ for Wales.    Mark Drakeford: First Minister, the Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, has recently set out his belief that the benefits system ought not to provide any additional help for families with more than two children. It is now being suggested that this policy would be extended to cover help that is linked to the benefits system, such as free school meals. First Minister, will you provide an assurance that, in Welsh schools at least, no child will be sent away hungry simply because their two elder brothers or sisters have already been fed?   The First Minister: The Member is absolutely right to point out that, as things stand at the moment with the DWP, where families are on benefits and they have more than two children, the first two children will be fed in school Read more [...]