Wed. October 16, 2013
Minister commits to helping councils and long-term review
PLAID CYMRU Shadow Local Government Minister, Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, has welcomed this afternoon’s deal on council tax benefit.
The Local Government Minister will announce that £22m has been found to plug the council tax benefit “black hole” that has again been allowed to develop in the coming financial year by the UK Government.
Last year, a full £24m was paid out to councils to cover the shortfall inflicted by the UK coalition Government on Welsh communities. This year, a £22m settlement has been found, in line with local government funding having decreased significantly. The remaining estimated £2m will have to be found by local authorities.
Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:
“I led a campaign on this last year which resulted in a u-turn from the previous Labour Minister, who initially didn’t want to plug the gap and help vulnerable households.
“However, that is in the past and the current Minister has been able to deliver a solution this year and that is to be welcomed. Her commitment to a longer-term review of council tax benefit in Wales is positive and will enable a Welsh council tax support system to be designed for the coming years.
“I thank the Minister for the discussions we’ve had.
“When the social security system is deliberately sabotaged by politicians in London, we of course have every right to complain but we should also try and provide positive solutions. By identifying the scale of the problem last year, Plaid Cymru has been able to ensure that the issue has been dealt with more carefully this year and on time. The money that has been secured will be spent by people in their local economies.
“This shows that constructive opposition by Plaid Cymru in the Assembly can produce results.”
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