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Welsh government launches fund to help families hit by cost-of-living crisis

A new £51m support package will help families facing the cost-of-living crisis to keep up with bills.

The Welsh government is releasing funding from its reserves to support lower-income households, as people face rising living costs this winter.

The first phase of the Household Support Fund will target heating and food, providing families with help to pay their energy bills and giving extra funding to food banks and community food schemes.

The new funding comes as the Bank of England warns inflation will rise to 5% by the Spring, pushing living costs even higher.

Rebecca Evans, minister for finance and local government, said: ‘Families across Wales are facing a real cost-of-living crisis thanks to rising prices and cuts to key benefit payments.

‘To help tackle these unprecedented challenges, we are making £51m available to develop our own bespoke Household Support Fund to help with some of the costs families are facing.

‘Where Westminster has failed to support families, the Welsh Government will step in and back our communities through this challenging period.’

More than £38m will be made available through a Winter Fuel Support Scheme for households in receipt of working age means-tested benefits.

Eligible households will be able to claim a one-off £100 cash payment to help with their energy bills.

More than £1.1m has also been allocated to support foodbanks and community food providers.

Minister for social justice, Jane Hutt, said: ‘We are very worried the cost-of-living crisis, coming so close to Christmas, will force families to turn to high-cost lenders or illegal loan sharks to help make ends meet

‘This fund will help raise awareness of the alternatives out there which can help. Most of the powers to address this cost-of-living crisis lie in the UK Government’s hands but we want to do everything we can to help families through this winter.

‘We will support you, your families, your businesses and your community through these unprecedented times.’

Photo by Vitolda Klein

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