Here's the latest Argus column by Blaenau Gwent MS Alun Davies:

WE KNOW that people across Wales are facing an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, fuelled by soaring energy bills and the increase of day-to-day food, fuel, energy, clothes, and travel costs.

It’s hitting people hard here in Blaenau Gwent, every day my office is hearing from people struggling to make ends meet.

Make no mistake, this is a crisis made in Downing Street – tax rises in April have left families and households with even less of their take-home pay to pay higher bills. The inaction of the Tory led UK Government unquestionably makes this far harder than it should be.

Here in Wales the Welsh Labour Government has stepped in where the Tories have failed to do so by putting in place a £330 million support package.

The £330 million cost-of-living package of support, which goes beyond that announced by the UK Government, includes a £150 cost-of-living payment, which will be provided to all households in properties in council tax bands A to D and to all households, which receive support from the Council Tax Reduction Scheme in all council tax bands.

A further £25 million has been provided as a discretionary fund for local councils to help households which may be struggling, and the remainder of the funding is being invested in a number of other schemes to help people with the costs-of-living, including an extra £21.4 million to extend free school meals through the Easter, Whitsun and summer holidays in 2022 and £1.1 million to support foodbanks, community food partnerships and community hubs.

Following the local government elections, where Labour gained a majority in Blaenau Gwent, I will be working closely with local Labour councillors and with Welsh Government to continue to ensure that we do all we can to support people across the borough through this cost-of-living crisis and to make sure that help reaches those who need it the most.

Finally, if you live in Blaenau Gwent and feel there is anything that I can help you with please get in touch by email at, by telephone on 01495 311160 or by visiting my Facebook page @AlunDaviesBG for details about my regular weekly advice surgeries.