This winter, working-age families in Wales receiving benefits such as Universal Credit will receive a one-off payment of £100.
As ministers accuse the UK government of failing to help families in need, the Welsh Government will offer a £51 million support package this winter.
It follows the UK Government’s refusal to reverse its £20 uplift cut to Universal Credit after the Bank of England warned that inflation would reach 5% by next spring.
The extra funding will include giving eligible households a one-off cash payment of £100 to spend on energy bills.
Food banks, community food partnerships, and community hubs will receive more than £1.1 million, including the Big Bocs Bwyd (BBB) project, which will extend its services to 25 additional schools in the Valleys.
The BBB project, which began in Barry and operates out of old shipping containers, aims to tackle food poverty.
Welsh finance and local government minister, Rebecca Evans, said: “Families across Wales are facing a real cost-of-living crisis thanks to rising prices and cuts to key benefit payments.
“To help tackle these unprecedented challenges, we are making £51 million available to develop our own bespoke Household Support Fund to help with some of the costs families are facing.
“Where Westminster has failed to support families, the Welsh Government will step in and back our communities through this challenging period.”
What are the payment terms?
Between December 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022, claimants must receive any one of the following benefits:
- Income support
- Income-based job seekers allowance
- Employment and support allowance
- Universal credit
- Working tax credits
Over £38 million will be made available through the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for households receiving working-age means-tested benefits for the £100 cash payments
The payments will be available to all eligible energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment or credit meter.
Social justice minister Jane Hutt said: “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.
“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.”
In the coming weeks, Welsh ministers confirmed that further announcements will be made about the Household Support Fund.