Dawn Bowden MS, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, has welcomed a package of expanded measures from the Welsh Government to help people with the cost-of-living crisis, including a £150 cost-of-living payment and an extra £200 for low-income households through the Winter Fuel Payment next winter.
The funding package is significantly larger than equivalent support provided by the UK Government in England.
A £150 cost-of-living payment will be provided to all households in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney who live in properties in council tax bands A-D, as well as recipients of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme in all bands. The Welsh Government will be working with local authorities to provide more detail about how the scheme will operate and will begin making payments as soon as possible.
Welcoming the new package of support, Dawn Bowden MS said:
“The UK Conservative Government’s mismanagement of the economy has left people in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney facing a cost-of-living crisis.
“While the Conservatives are once again failing families, the Welsh Labour Government is stepping in and doing everything they can to support households through what is proving to be a challenging winter.
“I welcome the additional support to help with heating and eating pressures and I once again call on the Conservatives to reverse their cruel cut to Universal Credit and take meaningful action to address the cost-of-living crisis which families across Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney are facing.”
In addition to this £152m programme, a further £25m will be provided as a discretionary fund for local authorities, allowing councils to use their local knowledge to help households who may be struggling.
In 2022-23 more than £100m will be provided to strengthen other schemes that help people meet the rising costs of living. More money will be provided through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and through the Winter Fuel Support Scheme, which will deliver an additional £200 later this year to hundreds of thousands of low-income households.
The Discretionary Assistance Fund helps people pay for essential costs such as food, gas, electricity, clothing, or emergency travel. The funding announced today will allow the continuation of more frequent payments for a wider group of people for a further year. Since May 2020, more people have been able to claim more money on a more frequent basis through the Discretionary Assistance Fund, and these additional flexibilities will now be in place until March 2023.
The Winter Fuel Support Scheme enables households to claim a one-off payment of £200 to provide support towards paying winter fuel bills. Its extension will mean the scheme can run next winter and can also reach more households.