WELSH Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has written to the UK and Welsh Governments asking them to use the powers at their disposal to ensure sufficient financial support is available to those who lose their jobs because of Coronavirus.
Jane Dodds urged the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey to be willing to further increase Universal Credit for the duration of the pandemic and ensure Universal Credit can be claimed from day 1.
Jane Dodds urged the Minister for Finance and Trefyndd to better utilise Discretionary Assistance Funds and work with councils to get all Welsh councils to use more generous Discretionary Housing Payments and suspend Council Tax payments for all those who lose their employment due to Coronavirus.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:
“We cannot predict the full effects of COVID-19, but we know the economy will be devastated, businesses will fail and jobs will be lost. Many people will suffer because of a pandemic they could not possibly have foreseen or prepared for. I do not believe our welfare system is equipped to adequately help these people.
“We’re calling on the UK Government to ensure everyone is able to claim Universal Credit from day one and to be willing to further increase Universal Credit. There will be many people who lose their jobs whose rents are far greater than Universal Credit currently pays. We cannot allow them to be pushed into hardship or forced out of their homes due to Coronavirus.
“Whilst the UK Government control most of the policy levers in this area, there are some key steps the Welsh Government can and should be taking to make a difference and give people one less thing to worry about in these testing times.
“We’re calling on the Welsh Government to use Discretionary Assistance Funds and Discretionary Housing Payments to help those facing hardship in Wales due to Coronavirus. We’re also calling on them to work with councils to suspend Council Tax payments for all those who lose their jobs.”