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£67.4 million lost for families in South Wales

Written by on 16th September 2021

A debate was held at the Senedd on Wednesday September 15 regarding the UK Government’s proposal to scrap the £20 uplift in universal credit, which has been a vital helpline for families in Wales during the pandemic.

Heledd Fychan Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales Central strongly opposes the UK Government’s proposal to scrap the £20 uplift in universal credit. This proposed cut would effect 65,230 families living in Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan, amounting to a total loss of £67.4 million.

Speaking during the debate, Ms Fychan has called on the Welsh Government to pressure the UK Government to reverse this decision and do everything within its devolved powers to mitigate the impact of poverty in South Wales Central, and across the rest of the Country.

Heledd Fychan MS said,

“My region and its constituencies have suffered economically and socially for decades. During a time of the pandemic, Rhondda Cynon Taf suffered the most deaths per capita than any other area of the United Kingdom.”

“The £20-a-week universal credit increase has been a lifeline for the people of South Wales Central; it has allowed more families to afford to live, afford to feed their children, buy clothes, pay for electricity, light, heating, necessary broadband connectivity, and reduced some of the worst economic impacts of the pandemic.”

“Had Universal Credit grown in line with GDP per capita, it would be £40 a week higher, and yet the Tory UK government propose to scrap even the £20 uplift. Welsh Government must now pursue the devolution of welfare in order to tackle poverty in Wales, and in the meantime, maintain flexibility around the discretionary assistance fund to keep a lifeline available for those who most need it. “

Bevan Foundation’s State of Wales briefing published September 2021, states that a higher proportion of families in Wales will be affected by the cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit than the GB average. 

In total 275,350 families claim Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits in Wales, more than one in five (22%) of all families

A total of 62,230 families in south Wales central with a total loss of £67.4 million.

                                                               i.      Cardiff Central will lose £8.4million;

                                                             ii.      Cardiff North will lose £5.2million;

                                                           iii.      Cardiff South and Penarth will lose £13.2million;

                                                           iv.      Cardiff West will lose £10.5million;

                                                             v.      The Cynon Valley will lose £7.6million;

                                                           vi.      Pontypridd will lose £6.1million;

                                                          vii.      Rhondda will lose £7.8million; and

                                                        viii.      The Vale of Glamorgan will lose £8.6million.