Welfare reforms to hit Wales

The UK Government says the proposed changes to state benefits will create a fairer system which will get more people back to work, but new research suggests the cost to claimants in Wales could reach £1bn per year.

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  1. Wales This Week

Welfare reforms, how will they affect you?

Thousands of people across Wales will be affected by sweeping changes to the benefits system Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

A report for the Welsh Government estimates that over 48,500 people in Wales have already lost an average of £9 a week as a result of the housing benefit reforms which came into effect in April 2011.

Now, with further reforms being implemented by the UK Government, more questions are being raised about just how much these latest changes will affect us here in Wales.

The charity 'Cuts Watch Cymru', believes that 250,000 people in Wales will be affected by changes to the housing benefit alone.

Despite the figures however, it seems that many of us are unclear about how these changes might affect us, and the reform has met a great deal of criticism for the way that it has been implemented.

To find out more about these proposed changes, watch Wales This Week, 'Social Insecurity' tonight at 8 on ITV Cymru Wales.

You can also find out more about how these changes will affect you by visiting the following website by Community Housing Cymru and RCT Homes - click here.


  1. Wales This Week

Many feel cheated by new welfare reform

If you’re young, old, sick, disabled or unemployed, the State benefits you receive will soon be changing.

But despite the UK Government's claims that these changes will result in a fairer system which will get more people back to work, new research suggests the cost to claimants in Wales could eventually reach a billion pounds a year.

Martin Oxborrow was a pilot with the RAF for 21 years Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Martin Oxborrow was a pilot with the RAF for 21 years. In 1997 he was discharged from the air force on medical grounds. He suffered from phobic anxiety disorder and was told he would not be able to work.

He now lives in Llandysul in West Wales. He still suffers from anxiety and depression.

“I have good days and bad days - I’m on the maximum dose of anti-depressants , I’m on some antipsychotic drugs to help and basically I have had an independent assessment that says I have treatment resistant depression" - Martin Oxborrow

Martin’s been claiming incapacity benefit for the past fifteen years and while he has always searched for work, his condition has restricted his ability even to attend an interview. Despite that, after an assessment in November, he was told that he was deemed capable of working again.

People suffering from long term illness used to be eligible for incapacity benefit. But the changes introduced by the UK government mean all claimants are now being reassessed to see if they are capable of work or eligible to claim a new benefit called Employment and Support Allowance.

Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb sat on the committee that drafted the welfare reforms. He believes the changes are crucial to safeguard the economy.

“The welfare reform bill is a huge bill and a significant change which was necessary because I don’t think the welfare system was working. We were spending more and more money on a system that was dysfunctional and I think the system as it stood was penalising people...

"...I think we need to have a welfare system which supports the weakest in society but make sure those people are able to work will be able to take jobs and be better off that they would be under the current system.” - Guto Bebb MP

You can hear more from both Martin and from Guto Bebb MP in tonight's episode of Wales This Week, 'Social Insecurity' at 8 o'clock on ITV Cymru Wales

  1. Wales This Week

Confusion over welfare reform

The welfare system is on the verge of its biggest shake-up in 60 years, as the UK Government introduces what they refer to as a fairer system, which will get more people back to work.

But with new research suggesting the cost to claimants in Wales could eventually reach a billion pounds a year, many have raised questions about this so called, 'fairer system'.

Tonight, Wales This Week speaks to those who will be affected by these changes.

Wales This Week, 'Social Insecurity' is on at 8 o'clock on ITV Cymru Wales.

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