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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 August 2011

6,500 Swansea children in poverty

Ronnie Job and Sharif Bhagat, Swansea Socialist Party

In 2010, a report commissioned by Swansea council's Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny board estimated that 6,500 children live in poverty in the city.

Babies born to 'under-privileged' families can be underweight and low birth weight is closely associated with infant death and chronic diseases later in life.

At the age of two, a child from a poor family is more likely to show a lower level of attainment than a child from a more affluent background.

As the child develops, there are fewer opportunities available through lack of education and life experience. This can result in a lack of confidence and self worth, and can impact on mental health.

Child obesity is high in deprived areas and children in poverty are more likely to leave school at 16. With poor numeracy and literary skills finding long-term employment is often an uphill struggle.

For a minority, these problems can culminate in substance abuse and criminal activities. The South Wales Evening Post has labelled this as "a cocktail of drugs, booze, obesity and ill health".

A Centre for Cities report (Cities Outlook 2010), identified Swansea as one of the most vulnerable UK cities in the effect cuts will have on the public sector. Nearly 40% of the workforce is employed in the public sector.

Swansea's current Liberal Democrat-led council intends to carry through government cuts and can offer no solutions to underlying social problems.

Should Labour defeat the ruling Lib Dems, Tories and Independent coalition next May, then experience of Labour-led councils shows that they too will carry through the Tory cuts.

The best thing we can do for our children is to build united trade union action to defeat the cuts and to prepare to stand anti-cuts candidates in next year's council elections.

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In The Socialist 31 August 2011:


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Mass action can stop the cuts

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Housing crisis wrecks people's lives

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6,500 Swansea children in poverty

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