The number of people on Universal Credit in Gwynedd has more than doubled since March last year to 8,712. We are concerned that in three months’ time the UK Government intends to end the £20 per week uplift in both Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit. This has made a real difference to families who are struggling and removing it could take over £8m out of the local economy, or more if claims go up which is all the more likely if the furlough scheme comes to an end before the economy is fully able to reopen.
We have written to Liz Saville Roberts and Hywel Williams urging them to make representations to the Chancellor to keep the uplift.
The BBC have written about this issue: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55415873
Although times are hard for many of us, help is available. We are working closely with the various foodbanks in Gwynedd: we refer clients in desperate need to them and they refer clients to us so that we can help them with their underlying problems. Arfon and South Gwynedd Foodbanks have secured additional funding so we can ensure advisers are immediately available when needed. We are also working with colleagues across North Wales to provide advice on maximising income to people with mental health problems or at risk of developing mental health problems. The Welsh Government has provided additional funding to help us do this. If you know anyone who might benefit from this you can refer them using this link wherever in North Wales they live: cabgwynedd.wales/incomemax