Policy Forum for Wales

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Poverty and deprivation in Wales - next steps for welfare reform, employment strategies, and tackling child and fuel poverty

Morning, Tuesday, 14th July 2020


This conference will examine the policy priorities for tackling poverty and deprivation in Wales.

Areas for discussion include:

  • the key drivers and underlying causes of poverty,
  • the next steps after the Government’s child poverty review and fuel poverty plan,
  • the roll-out of Universal Credit, and
  • local and national employment strategies.


There will be keynote addresses from:

  • Maureen Howell, Deputy Director, Prosperous Futures, Welsh Government;
  • Andrew Latto, Deputy Director, Devolution, Pensioner Benefits & Carer’s Allowance, Department for Work and Pensions; and
  • Mark Jeffs, Audit Manager, Wales Audit Office.

Further confirmed speakers include: Ellie Harwood, Child Poverty Action Group and a senior speaker from the Residential Landlords Association Wales.

The agenda in summary

  • Understanding the key drivers of poverty and supporting communities across Wales;
  • Identifying desired outcomes and measuring performance over time;
  • Addressing the underlying causes of poverty;
  • Tackling child poverty following the Welsh Government review;
  • Completing the roll-out of Universal Credit;
  • Key challenges for implementing the new fuel poverty plan;
  • Local and national employment strategies: higher-paid employment, developing income security and reducing in-work poverty; and
  • Policy priorities for tackling poverty in Wales.

Context and the focus for discussion

The conference takes place in the context of issues emerging from policy and sector developments, including:

  • The current Government review into the impact of programmes on children living in poverty - with a progress update in December indicating a recent rise in child poverty;
  • The forthcoming fuel poverty plan from the Welsh Government - with the Wales Audit Office recently reporting a reduction in fuel poverty - although the Government had not met its targets, which were ambitious given the wider policy landscape;
  • The Social Partnership Bill to be brought forward this Assembly term, following the final report of the Fair Work Commission;
  • Reports that there will be a review into the Job Support Wales scheme;
  • The preliminary report from the Wales Centre for Public Policy, laying out the key issues to focus on in considering the future devolution of benefits administration to Wales;
  • The inquiry by the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee into using culture to tackle poverty and social exclusion; and
  • The Welsh Government’s Employability Plan, including decreasing economy inactivity and promoting in-work progression, and Economic Action Plan, including aims around regional inequality and fair work.

It also comes with a forthcoming debate on benefits, after the Welsh Government’s response to the inquiry by the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee - who recommended to the Government that it should:

  • create a coherent and integrated benefits system,
  • develop public awareness of available benefits to affect uptake, and
  • seek powers to create new benefits and top up reserved benefits.

Keynote Speakers

Andrew Latto

Deputy Director, Devolution, Pensioner Benefits & Carer’s Allowance, Department for Work and Pensions

Mark Jeffs

Audit Manager, Wales Audit Office

Maureen Howell

Deputy Director, Prosperous Futures, Welsh Government

Councillor Dimitri Batrouni

Monmouthshire County Council and Author, Tackling Poverty And Inequality Action Plan: Monmouthshire


Ellie Harwood

Wales Development Manager, Cost of the School Day, Child Poverty Action Group

A senior speaker to be confirmed from Residential Landlords Association Wales

Gwennan Hardy

Senior Policy Officer, Citizens Advice