A report, written by the left-of-centre Bevan Foundation think tank, says A coalition of charities are “motivated by a shared concern that thousands more people across Wales will be plunged into poverty”. Tens of thousands of people in Wales are “on the edge of a cliff” because of impending reforms to the welfare system. The changes being introduced in Westminster could put stress on the Welsh government. The “vast majority” of benefit recipients will see their incomes cut, it says.
Cuts Watch Wales says people on out-of-work benefits will face “tough sanctions” if they do not look for jobs at a time when unemployment is already high. This week’s unemployment figures showed yet another steep rise in the numbers of people without work in the UK. We now have the highest rates of unemployment for over 17 years but even this is only the official figure and the true numbers of unemployed are much closer to 6.7 million. A shocking 1.4 million of those are young people between 18-25 years of age. Women and disabled people are particularly affected by unemployment. Added to this many people classed as working and not included in these figures are in part-time, casual and insecure jobs.
Wales has the highest proportion of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit, which is paid to those who cannot work because of illness or impairment. Some disabled people will see a “substantial drop in income” and changes to housing benefit “will mean almost all tenants are worse off”,
Cutting incomes will also take money out of the economy, leading to further job losses and the closure of services, the report warns. It says: “People in Wales face the toughest challenge to their well-being for decades from a combination of economic crisis, job losses, a squeeze on earnings and rising prices.”
Labour AM Mark Drakeford said the cuts would mount up and affect the poorest people and places. “It has this sort of rolling cumulative effect on individuals, families and whole communities,” he said. Continue reading the main story
We are all on a downward spiral. Leanne Wood Plaid cymru A.M Says “This will mean that more people in Wales will have to choose between heating and eating. More children will be pushed into poverty. More local businesses will go to the wall because the disposable income of their customers has been taken away by the UK government”.