South East Wales

Cardiff mother joins Save The Children plea to Osborne

A single mother-of-four from Cardiff hand-delivered a letter to Chancellor George Osborne explaining how she sometimes goes without food.

Jacqueline Robinson, 40, is one of three parents who took part in charity Save the Children's campaign calling for help for struggling families.

They want support in the budget on 23 March to tackle child poverty, including help with childcare costs.

The UK government has pledged to eradicate all child poverty by 2020.

Ms Robinson's letter says: "There is always one week in every month when things are bad and I wonder how I will manage.

"I will go without when things are tight, sometimes going without food for a day to keep my children fed and properly dressed."

A higher proportion of children in Wales live in severe poverty compared to the rest of the UK, according to Save the Children.

It said 90,000 children (14%) live in low income homes which are often poorly heated and where it is a struggle to pay for basics like food and clothes.

This compares to 13% in England and 9% in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The charity is calling on Mr Osborne to draw up an emergency plan to tackle severe child poverty which it says, despite falling 100,000 since its last survey, remains "unacceptably high" at 1.6m in the UK.

'Severe poverty'

Single parents from Manchester and London will also be joining Ms Robinson to deliver letters to Downing Street.

Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsyth said: "Parents living in poverty are telling us that they are struggling just to put a decent meal on the table and that they cannot cut back any more."

Mr Forsyth said: "With increasing unemployment and cuts in welfare payments we are concerned that the numbers of children forced into severe poverty in the coming months will only increase. We need this budget to address that."

The Treasury has accepted a formal written representation in relation to the budget.

Its website says "budget representations are used in the policy-making process", although these are usually received by post or via the internet.

A government spokesperson said it was fully committed to eradicating child poverty by 2020 and would be setting out its strategy soon.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said its strategy set out a "distinctive Welsh approach" to providing public services that "would help to address the long-term root causes of poverty."

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