Welfare cuts ‘will badly hurt families in Valleys’
1:25pm Monday 17th February 2014 in News
PEOPLE in Blaenau Gwent are set to be among the hardest hit by UK government welfare cuts, the Welsh Government has warned.
Figures released today show Caerphilly and Torfaen will also be among the places most affected, with working-age adults in these areas are set to lose upwards of £500 a year from 2015/16.
Blaenau Gwent is second only to Neath Talbot as the worst-impacted area in Wales, with figures showing the average loss per working age adult to be £585 per year.
Caerphilly is sixth, with the average loss per working age adult predicted at £541 per year, while Torfaen is placed seventh, on £539.
Newport is ninth on £508 per year and Monmouthshire is placed 19th with an average loss of £394 per year.
The figures show that Wales will see a total loss of income of around £930million a year due to Westminster’s planned cuts.
The findings are the latest in a series of reports issued by the Welsh Government to help the people of Wales prepare for and understand the impact of the decisions taken by UK government.
Communities and tackling poverty minister Jeff Cuthbert said: ‘The amounts we are talking about here will make a huge difference to the lives of some.
“Some of these cuts are hurting low-income families at the very time they are seeing their incomes squeezed and are struggling to cover their everyday costs.”
He said there would also be wider knock-on effects on the economy, with people having less money to spend on local services and shops.
Mr Cuthbert said the Welsh Government was powerless to intervene, but would continue to provide support.
He said: “Within our budget, there is no way the Welsh Government can step in to cover the gaps being created by the dismantling of welfare, but we will continue to do all we can.”
Recent action includes providing free advice on money management and expanding the Flying Start programme to help families in the most disadvantaged areas.