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Charity calls for action over pensioner poverty

Older people's charity, Age Cymru, has warned almost 50,000 pensioners in Wales live in 'severe' poverty.

Research by the charity found that 84,000 older people in Wales live in poverty. Credit: PA

Graeme Francis, from Age Cymru, said: "All older people should have an adequate standard of living.

"No-one should be faced with a calamitous reduction in their standard of living when they retire or be resigned to a life where they are forced to choose between basic essentials in order to make ends meet."

The charity says more needs to be done to help support older people in Wales.

Wales bucking UK trend as salaries rise sharply

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The number of public sector jobs in Wales is lifting average salaries Credit: PA

Average salaries in Wales rose by 14 per cent over the last year, bucking the UK trend.

Research found the average salary in Wales now stands at £28,912.

It found that Wales has retained the highest proportion of public sector jobs, which make up 27.7 per cent of the workforce, despite sweeping cuts to the public sector across the UK since the recession.

The UK average for advertised salaries fell £1,800 in the 12 months to March, a drop of 5.3 per cent.

Salaries have stagnated most in areas like London, where widespread cuts in the public sector have been replaced by significant growth in lower paid, private sector roles.


Creme egg 'thank you' offer: Your views

A Welsh housing association responsible for more than 6,000 homes has been criticised for offering a free chocolate egg to tenants who've struggled to make rent payments following changes to their benefits.

You've been sharing your views on this story:

I would have found this absolutely insulting and patronising considering the 60p cost involved.The costs of meetings to decide this, the logistics of buying, packing and delivering these not to mention wages of those involved must have far outweighed the costs of the egg; I am sure the tenants would have preferred all that money to have been offered as a small discount off future rent - that would have been my choice!

– Sian Jones via email

Well they do say chocolate makes everything better!! A cream egg definitely makes up for having to pay a tax!

– Tracy on Twitter

Tenants affected by 'Bedroom Tax' offered a Creme Egg? Not sure this counts as adequate compensation!

– Anna Gearyon on Twitter

Housing Association defends creme egg offer

A housing association which offered a free Creme Egg to tenants affected by the so-called 'bedroom tax' has defended its offer.

The letter of thanks and small gesture of the Crème Egg is an important recognition to those tenants who have struggled to find additional rent due to the UK government imposed bedroom tax policy. The initiative was supported by tenants on our Welfare Reform working group.

We always need to engage and keep the debate alive and the invitation to attend one of our regular walk-in sessions in Bridgend and pick up a free Crème Egg over Easter was a way of reminding tenants that even during the school holidays staff are available to help with financial advice.

– Valleys to Coast Housing Association

Tenants affected by 'bedroom tax' offered creme egg

Tenants who have been affected by the so-called 'bedroom tax' have been offered a 60p Creme Egg by their Housing Association as a reward for keeping up with rent payments.

Tenants were offered a 60p Creme Egg as a 'thank you'

Housing association Valleys to Coast (V2C), based in Bridgend, sent a letter to tenants to thank them for payments.

The letter, signed by Head of Neighbourhoods Nigel Draper, said: "The Bedroom Tax was introduced just over one year ago and Valleys to Coast Housing would like to thank you for your efforts to pay this shortfall.

"As well as thanking you by letter we would also like to offer you as a small thank you by offering a free Crème Egg should you call into the office during the month of April."


House prices at their highest for more than five years

House prices in Wales have been rising steadily over the last twelve months according to figures out today. The average price of a home here is now at highest for more than five years.

The surge is being put down to continued low interest rates and better deals for borrowers - although experts say the future of the housing market is still uncertain, as Kevin Ashford reports.

Home owners confident about house prices

Home owners are expecting property values to jump by nearly 9% between now and September, according to research by property website Zoopla.

House prices in Wales in February were at their highest for 6 years Credit: PA

Some 95% of home owners are predicting prices will rise in the coming months, which is the most widespread expectation recorded since the property website's research began five years ago. This time last year, just 74% of home owners expected property values to increase.

Read more: Welsh house prices rise by £1,235 in February

Only one in 50 (2%) out of nearly 5,000 home owners surveyed for the latest research expects property prices to fall over the summer, which is down from 13% when the same question was asked a year ago.

It comes as house prices in Wales in February rose to their highest for six years

How much are house prices where you live?

The average price of a house in Wales in February was £158,791, an increase of £1,235 or 0.8% since January - the highest price since September 2008.

The most expensive houses in Wales can be found in the Vale of Glamorgan, whilst the cheapest are currently in Blaenau Gwent.

Find out where your area ranks in the list below, which shows average prices for each area in February 2014.

  • Vale of Glamorgan - £218, 804
  • Monmouthshire - £214,939
  • Cardiff - £197,819
  • Ceredigion - £180,025
  • Powys - £178,456
  • Isle of Anglesey - £171,653
  • Pembrokeshire - £167,127
  • Gwynedd - £160,481
  • Flintshire - £159,769
  • Wrexham - £159,254
  • Swansea - £158,823
  • Denbighshire - £155,360
  • Newport - £154,011
  • Conwy - £151,932
  • Bridgend - £148,078
  • Carmarthenshire - £142,954
  • Torfaen - £141,636
  • Caerphilly - £124,057
  • Neath Port Talbot - £114,632
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff - £112,124
  • Merthyr Tydfil - £98,010
  • Blaenau Gwent - £81,839

Welsh house prices rise to their highest in six years

The average price of a house in Wales rose by 0.8% between January and February Credit: PA

The average price for a house in Wales rose by £1,235 in February to £158,791.

This is the highest price since September 2008, when it reached £159,507, (although it did briefly get as high as £158,650 in February 2010.)

It remains nevertheless well short of the all time peak price of £171,145 which was reached in October 2007.

Prices have now risen successively in seven of the last twelve months, on an annual basis.

Comparing Wales with other regions, we see that on a monthly basis, it is just about in the middle.

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