Wefan Gymraeg

Ending Benefits Freeze not Enough

By Sebastian Bench, Feb 12, 2020 2:02

Bank notes and coins.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed the end of the benefits freeze and an inflation-linked increase in benefits income. However, the party has also warned that on its own ending the freeze will not be enough to reverse the years of harm the Conservatives have caused to those receiving welfare.

Research from Citizens Advice has shown an increase in the number of people unable to cover their living costs since the start of the benefits freeze in 2016.

It also highlighted that close to 4 in 10 households receiving benefits and seeking advice on debt are not expected to have enough money to cover their costs by 2024, this is even if benefits continue to rise with inflation.

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:

“I’m glad that the Conservatives have finally listened to opposition parties calls to scrap the heartless and damaging freeze on benefits. This policy has brought untold hardship to thousands of families across Wales, hardship these families will not forget.

“However, ending the freeze is just the first step. We re-establish our welfare system so that it truly supports people when they fall on hard times.

“No-one in our country should be trapped in poverty - especially not by the very system that is meant to be there to support them.

“The UK Government now needs to substantially increase the local housing allowance and scrap the five-week waiting period for Universal Credit payments. Only then can we begin to make a real change to the lives of the most vulnerable in our society.”

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