In response to the publication of the Welsh Government's 'Tackling Poverty Action Plan 2013', Peter Black AM has called on the Welsh Government to focus on delivery, rather than rhetoric, in its aims in tackling poverty in Wales.
Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Social Justice, commented:
"It goes without saying that we all share the aspirations that are laid out in the Tackling Poverty Plan. However, what's important is the outcomes these initiatives deliver.
"It was right for the Welsh Labour Government to remodel its flagship 'Communities First' scheme. This admission of failure is understandable as the scheme simply wasn't up to scratch. The aspiration was there, yet the execution of the scheme was disappointing.
"The previous Poverty Minister spent a vast amount of his time in the Assembly spouting party political rhetoric to try and deflect attention from his failure to reach key poverty targets. I hope the new Ministers will have more of a collaborativeapproach, with an increased focus on delivery and outcomes. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will be monitoring the Welsh Government's progress in reaching their targets in and will be holding the new Ministers to account on behalf of our communities.
"One of the key aims in this document is to improve educational attainment for Wales' poorest children. As this document acknowledges, the Welsh Liberal Democrats' Pupil Premium, also called Pupil Deprivation Grant, is making a huge difference to the lives of many of Wales' pupils. This scheme, which increases money to our poorest pupils, wouldn't exist if were not for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. However, if this is the Welsh Government's aim, why did it refuse to increase this investment as the UK Government has done in England? Once again, the Welsh Labour Government's complacently is allowing Wales' poorest to fall behind."