LABOUR ministers must throw hardworking families in Wales a financial lifeline as it is revealed they are set to receive £175 million from the Conservative UK Government.

Following Ofgem’s confirmation today that the energy price cap will rise by £700 from April, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a three-part plan to help with household fuel bills immediately and protect people against half of this increase – worth £350 per household, in a total package of support worth £8.6 billion across the United Kingdom.

The plan includes: 

1. A £200 ‘smoothing’ rebate on energy bills for all households across Britain, to be paid back over the next five years at £40 per year – starting from April 2023

2. A non-repayable £150 cash rebate for homes in Council Tax bands A-D – equivalent to 80 per cent of all households, helping both lower and middle-income families

3. £144 million of discretionary funding for local authorities to support households not eligible for the council tax rebate.

Points two and three of the plan are devolved and will see the Labour administration in Cardiff Bay receive an extra £175m in consequential funding.

Welsh Conservatives are calling for this significant sum to be spent immediately on delivering households a tax rebate and giving all councils in Wales money for discretionary funding to help families.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies MS, said:

“As the British economy continues its recovery from the pandemic, we must confront the global inflationary pressures caused by the world economy coming swiftly back to life.

“Much of this inflation is being driven by the rising cost of energy due to increased demand worldwide – and that is feeding through into pressures on the cost of living at home.

“Soaring energy bills are a major worry for hardworking families across Wales and the UK and the Conservative Chancellor has once again stepped up to the plate to help people in a time of need.

“With Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay set to receive £175 million as a result of the Chancellor’s action plan, it’s vital they use this money immediately to fund tax rebates and create a discretionary fund for local authorities to use on households who do not meet the criteria.

“This announcement by Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives will mean so much to so many people and will help them meet the cost of living this winter, and I implore Labour to use the money wisely and swiftly to ease the cost of living pressures facing families across Wales.”