Posted: Thu 21st Jul 2022

‘Significant’ expansion of Wales Fuel Support to low-income households, welcomed by Citizens Advice Cymru

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 21st, 2022

The “significant expansions” of a fuel support scheme for low-income families across Wales has been welcomed by Citizens Advice Cymru.

Yesterday the Welsh Government it is investing £90m into the initiative in recognition of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on those struggling to pay their energy bills.

Previously, around 166,000 households on universal credit, legacy means-tested benefit and working tax credits benefitted from the £200 2021/22 Winter Fuel Payment.

The extension of the fuel support scheme means nearly 200,000 more households on child tax credits, pension credits, disability benefits, carers allowance, contributory benefits and those receiving help from the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to pay their council tax bill will now be eligible.

It is being extended as the impact of the current cost-of-living crisis is greatest on low-income households and to allow more households on benefits to be eligible.

The extra funding and target support comes as households across Wales are struggling to pay higher energy bills, exacerbated by the increase in the domestic energy cap rise in April. There is expected to be a further rise in the cost of energy and standing charges in the autumn.

People with prepayment meters are the most susceptible to rising costs and increased standing charges. In North Wales residents on pre-payment metres are already being hard with standing charges increasing by 102 per cent.

Citizens Advice Cymru has welcomed the expansion of the scheme to support more households on low incomes.

In response to the widening of the Fuel Support Scheme in Wales, Rebecca Woolley, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru said: “This is a significant expansion of the fuel support scheme at what we know is a very difficult time for many people.

“All indications point to another big rise in energy costs in October – breaking the £3,200 average annual bill mark – and possibly further again in January. Record numbers of people are accessing crisis support through our services.

“We have advocated for more government support for low income households across Wales. The expansion of fuel support by the Welsh Government will provide some more comfort for people who are at risk of cold homes this winter.”

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