Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt alongside Scottish Minister for Social Security, Ben MacPherson and Northern Ireland’s Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey are urging the UK Government to take immediate action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
In their joint letter, issued after a meeting with devolved ministers last week, the Ministers called for:
an immediate emergency uplift of £25 to all means-tested benefits including legacy benefits;
abolition of the benefit cap and the two-child limit;
and a benefit take-up campaign.
The Ministers also echoed a call from their respective Finance Ministers for additional funding support for social security benefits, made in a letter to the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on 30 September.
Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt said:
“Ministers across Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have united to call for immediate action from the UK Government to tackle this cost-of-living crisis. The impact this is having across the entire UK for families and the most vulnerable is clear for all to see.
“Decisions taken by successive UK Conservative Governments – from a decade of austerity to cruel cuts to benefits and broken promises on taxes – have created the conditions for this unprecedented crisis and are adding to the pressures on household budgets.
“The mini-budget has caused turmoil on the financial markets, sending the pound plummeting and making mortgages more expensive. Interest rates and inflation are set to rise further.
“That is why we need urgent action now.
“The devolved nations are calling for three immediate actions to take place; an uplift of £25 to all means-tested benefits, including legacy benefits, the abolition of the benefit cap and the two-child limit and an immediate benefit take-up campaign.
“These are all practical solutions, which would ease the burden on households and, more importantly, prevent tens of thousands more people – and children – sliding into poverty.
“Here in Wales, we have chosen to support people through this crisis by providing targeted help to those who need it most and by supporting everyone through programmes which put money back in their pockets.
“The UK Government needs to listen, re-think and deliver meaningful support for all the people of the United Kingdom, particularly the most vulnerable.”