The Welsh government has announced a £330m package to help people with the rising cost of living, support it says goes “above and beyond” that provided by Boris Johnson’s government in England.
All households in council tax bands A to D, as well as those in receipt of the council tax reduction scheme, will receive an immediate £150 payment.
Ministers will work in conjunction with councils to provide more details about how the scheme will operate, with the aim of commencing payments as soon as possible.
Sunak’s offer ‘fell short’
In addition, hundreds of thousands of low income households will get an extra £200 through the winter fuel payment next winter.
The scheme allows people to claim a one-off payment towards paying their winter fuel bills.
Councils will get a further £25m in discretionary funding which will allow them to help households who may be struggling.
More money will also be provided through the discretionary assistance fund, which helps people pay for essential costs such as food, gas, electricity, clothing or emergency travel.
Extra funding will mean more frequent payments to a wider group of people can continue for another year.
“People are facing a very real cost-of-living crisis and urgent, meaningful action is required,” Rebecca Evans, the finance and local government minister, said.
“The chancellor’s offer at the start of the month fell short of what people needed.
“We have been able to go above and beyond to provide Welsh households with more help in paying bills, heating homes and putting food on the table.
“In total we are nearly doubling the equivalent support provided by the UK government for those who need it the most, reflecting our priority of creating a fairer Wales in which no-one is left behind.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £350 of support for households in England in a bid to take the “sting” out of rising energy bills.
A total of 80% of all homes in England will get a £150 discount on their council tax bill in April, while all domestic electricity customers will get £200 in October off their energy bills.
The latter amount will be repaid over five years, starting from next April, although the council tax rebate will not need to be paid back.
The Treasury said the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would receive £565m in extra funding to provide the council tax rebate.
But First Minister Mark Drakeford said last week there was “no extra money for Wales” from the Treasury to replicate the measure.