The Welsh government has announced a boost in funding for charities struggling to cope with a rise in demand caused by welfare reform and other UK government cuts.
Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, has announced that the current level of Welsh government funding will be doubled from £1 million to £2 million.
The additional funding will be shared between five organisations to provide advice on welfare benefits, debt and financial capability, housing and discrimination.
- Citizens Advice Cymru and Shelter will receive £1.3 million to provide specialist advice on welfare benefits, housing and debt issues.
- Citizens Advice Cymru and SNAP Cymru will receive £390,000 to assist them in providing discrimination advice.
- Tenovus will receive just over £103,000 to provide welfare advice for patients suffering from cancer,.
- Age Cymru will receive funding of over £224,000 for anti-poverty advice services.
The Welsh government say these charities will continue to offer quality services to anyone who needs them, whatever their circumstances or where they live in Wales.
Adding that the boost in funding will be used to help in tackling poverty and inequality across Wales.
Lesley Griffiths said: “Free advice services provide a vital community lifeline to people facing the reality of harsh economic times. Additionally, our support is a key part of our commitment to tackle poverty.
“It is vital help is available for people who need assistance with their benefit entitlements, with managing and repaying their debt, in situations where they may be at risk of losing their home or where they feel they are being treated unfairly at work or elsewhere.
Lesley Griffiths blamed UK government welfare reforms, including the highly controversial ‘bedroom tax’, for “contributing to the poverty of families and children in Wales”.
She added: “The decision to provide preventative advice services with additional funding was taken due to pressures facing services who are experiencing a rise in demand at the very time funding through Legal Aid and others sources of support are being cut.
“Our funding will help support, empower and build people’s resilience to make their own financial decisions which may reduce the demand for such services in the longer term.”