Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Labour's Can't Deliver their Main Electin Pledge

  1. It’s finally been exposed, Labour can’t deliver their main election pledge. I chanced upon this press notice by Child Poverty campaigners:

    >CPAG Press Release
    >Thursday 15th March 2007
    >For immediate release
    >Commenting on today's announcement by Plaid Cymru of their commitment to
    >the target of ending child poverty by 2020, Kate Green, Chief Executive
    >of Child Poverty Action Group, said:
    >"Plaid's commitment to ending child poverty by 2020 is excellent news
    >and strengthens the growing political consensus that is needed to
    >achieve it.
    >"Despite improvements in recent years, there are still 1 in 4 children
    >in poverty in Wales. Although many of the key decisions needed to end
    >child poverty will be taken in Westminster
    , the target is unlikely to be
    >met without the active commitment of the Welsh Assembly.
    >"We particularly welcome Plaid's recognition that the Government will
    >not meet the target on current policies, so addressing inequality and
    >measures like Plaid's commitment to universal affordable child care will
    >be needed. We hope all parties in the Welsh election will engage in the
    >debate on the new policies needed to end child poverty."
    >Notes to editors
    >* CPAG is a member of the Campaign to End Child Poverty.
    Child poverty campaigners have published a ten point plan which are:

    The Ten Point Plan of the Child Poverty Action Group is:
    All political parties to commit to eradicate child poverty
    Poverty proof policies – make each consistent with eradicating child poverty
    Uprate the combined value of child tax credits and child benefit at least in line with the fastest growing of either prices or earnings. The element of this that is child benefit ought to be maximised
    Increase adult payments within income support in line with those for children
    Reform the administration of tax credits and benefits – ensure they provide the right amount to the right people at the right time
    Ensure all children have full access to the requirements – meals, uniforms and activities – of their education
    Provide benefit entitlements to all UK residents equally, irrespective of immigration status
    Work towards better jobs, not just more jobs
    Introduce free at the point of delivery, good quality universal childcare
    Reduce the disproportionate burden of taxation on poorer families

    Over half of these can only be delivered by London as the last time I looked the Assembly didn’t have powers over the benefits or the taxation system. Plaid’s claim that it’s disingenuous for Labour to give the impression that this can be delivered at Assembly level is more than fair.

    With so much dependant upon what happens in Westminster, what would happen to child poverty levels in Wales if the Tories took control? Their policy on skewing the tax system in favour of married families would have a disastrous effect in Wales – the only country in Western Europe where most children are born outside marriage!

    Plaid is committed to the 20/20 target that is why we are pledging to introduce universal affordable childcare – a policy that the Assembly can deliver and which is identified within the ten point plan of anti child poverty campaigners. The commitment to the 20/20 pledge was done by the Parliamentary group as a part of the party’s alternative budget. A recognition that that’s where the real power lies to deal with this issue.

    Looks like another undeliverable election pledge to me – a seemingly proud Labour tradition.

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