Questions to the Minister for Education and Skills

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Questions to the Minister for Education and Skills

Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am waith Grŵp Gorchwyl a Gorffen y Gweinidog ar gyfer Diwygio Lles

[Will the Minister make a statement on the work of the Ministerial Task and Finish Group for Welfare Reform]

Leighton Andrews: The ministerial task and finish group on welfare reform has been set up in response to our concerns over the UK Government’s planned welfare reforms. It is responsible for analysing and monitoring the cumulative impact of welfare reform on Wales, to ensure a co-ordinated and robust Welsh Government response.

Mark Drakeford: During the Easter recess, Cuts Watch Cymru published its latest research report, dealing this time with the cuts already made to crisis loans from the social fund. Do you share my concerns at the information in that report: Welsh families with children are being denied the help of crisis loans, are being left without food and heating, and have no recourse to anywhere else in the social security system? Will you make sure that that report is drawn to the attention of the ministerial task and finish group? Will it form part of the evidence on which the Welsh Government will draw when making its plans for any devolution of the social fund to Wales?

Leighton Andrews: I am certainly happy to do that. I say to the Member for Cardiff West that the Minister for Local Government and Communities is considering that evidence at present in respect of the social fund. The First Minister and I had a very useful meeting with representatives of Cuts Watch Cymru last week, when we were able to discuss a number of issues of mutual concern. He will also be aware that the ministerial task and finish group held a stakeholder event with representatives of a wide variety of third sector organisations and others who have concerns about a number of these issues. We will return to those stakeholders with a future meeting during June.