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Welsh councillors and union leaders warn Chancellor

Local councillors and union representatives from Wales have travelled from Wales to Westminster to call for fairer funding for the Welsh Government. Those lobbying MPs were from Blaenau Gwent and Neath Port Talbot councillors and Unison Wales. Councillor Peter Rees, the leader of Neath Port Talbot, urged the Chancellor to rethink his spending plans.

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"Thousands in Wales will be worse off" - response to £12bn budget cuts

A welfare charity says Wales will be "disproportionately affected" by the budget. According to Community Housing Cymru, it will have a more negative impact on Wales than other parts of the UK because of its low wage economy.

Wales has lower average wages than other parts of the UK Credit: PA

“The UK Government says this is ‘a budget for working people and a one nation budget.’ However, thousands will be worse off under these new reforms. Wales has already been disproportionately affected by previous welfare reforms in comparison to the rest of the UK. It’s a tough budget for working families and young people, and many will be hit by two or three different changes."

– Stuart Ropke, Community Housing Cymru

According to the charity:

  • £55m will be lost to the Welsh economy through changes to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) - affecting 36,380 people
  • A cap of £20k on earnings could see an out-of-work family of two adults and three children lose an average of £3,200 per year
  • Ending automatic entitlement to Housing Benefit for 18-21 year olds could affect up to 4,100 young people
The charity is concerned about caps to housing benefits Credit: PA

Capping the amount of housing benefit a person receives will not help reduce the welfare bill. It simply targets those who can least afford it and pushes them further into poverty. In many parts of Wales, families will not be able to pay high private rents because of the cap and there will be more demand than ever for affordable housing.

– Stuart Ropke

The charity says it will be working with members and key partners to inform and support those affected.

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