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The National Assembly of Wales has powers in 20 devolved policy areas, including education, economic development, health, housing, social services and local government…
The National Assembly of Wales has powers in 20 devolved policy areas, including education, economic development, health, housing, social services and local government. Given the social democrat character of the first three elected assemblies in Wales, Wales would appear well placed to interrupt the reproduction of socio-economic disparities. However, Wales is a relatively poor part of the United Kingdom. In this chapter, we consider economic inequality among the Welsh population set within the policy and economic context. Analysis demonstrates how the Welsh labour market has responded to the economic crisis and how this has affected both inequality within Wales and spatial inequality that exist across the United Kingdom. The development of equalities and anti-poverty policy making in Wales and how these have so far been treated separately in policy are examined. The chapter concludes by considering the possibility for the new and distinct policy levers in Wales in relation to the integration of anti-poverty, employment, economic and equality policies that have the potential to address the combined impact of socio-economic inequalities in the future.