Services that support people in Wales to manage problem debt and improve their household income are set to receive a £1.4 million boost to help them respond to an increase in demand on their services.
Evidence shows the coronavirus crisis is placing acute financial pressure on people in Wales, with many experiencing a loss of household income, putting them at increased risk of falling into serious debt.
This new funding will bolster the debt advice services that are delivered through the Single Advice Fund, ensuring that those most vulnerable, such as private sector tenants, can access the advice and support they need to manage their financial situation.
Today’s announcement will also fund a range of initiatives that help people, particularly those most vulnerable, to claim the financial support available to them from the Welsh and UK welfare benefit systems.
Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans said:
“Whilst the coronavirus outbreak is affecting everyone, we know that it is having a more significant financial impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“The funding I am announcing today will help those who are most at risk of debt because of loss of household income to better cope with their financial commitments.
“It is clear that the impact the pandemic has had on our economy will be felt for the long-term, and we will continue to seek to maximise services available as we recover from this crisis.”
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt said:
“We know that people living with debt are more likely to experience mental health problems, so it’s vitally important they get the advice and help they need as early as possible.
“The debt advice services delivered through the Single Advice Fund are well known, accessible, and can offer early access to advice and support to the more vulnerable households across Wales.”
Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James said:
“The financial impact of the crisis is clear - many tenants in Wales are already falling behind or expected to fall behind with their rent payments.
“Advice services are invaluable in helping people build financial capability whilst supporting them to navigate through the benefit system to better understand what they may be entitled to and how to claim.
“This is part of a package of support we are looking at in Wales to make sure we provide more support, more quickly, to the people who need it the most.”