William Eichler 16 November 2021

Welsh government announces £51m package to tackle cost-of-living crisis

Welsh government announces £51m package to tackle cost-of-living crisis image

The Welsh government has announced a £51m package of support in order to help families facing the cost-of-living crisis pay their bills this winter.

The first phase of the Household Support Fund will target heating and eating – providing families with extra help to pay their energy bills over the winter and giving extra funding to foodbanks and community food schemes.

‘Families across Wales are facing a real cost-of-living crisis thanks to rising prices and cuts to key benefit payments,’ said Rebecca Evans, minister for finance and local government.

‘To help tackle these unprecedented challenges, we are making £51m available to develop our own bespoke Household Support Fund to help with some of the costs families are facing.’

The decision to make the multi-million-pound support package available comes against the backdrop of the UK Government’s cutting of Universal Credit and the Bank of England’s warning that inflation will rise to 5% by the spring.

‘Where Westminster has failed to support families, the Welsh government will step in and back our communities through this challenging period,’ said Ms Evans.

More than £38m of the package will be made available through a Winter Fuel Support Scheme for households in receipt of working age means-tested benefits.

Eligible households will also be able to claim a one-off £100 cash payment. It will be available to all eligible energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment or a credit meter.

More than £1.1m has also been provided to support and bolster foodbanks, community food partnerships and community hubs.

‘We are very worried the cost-of-living crisis, coming so close to Christmas, will force families to turn to high-cost lenders or illegal loan sharks to help make ends meet,’ said the minister for social justice, Jane Hutt.

‘This fund will help raise awareness of the alternatives out there which can help.

‘Most of the powers to address this cost-of-living crisis lie in the UK Government’s hands but we want to do everything we can to help families through this winter.'

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