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Final Budget includes extra £18m for housing alongside cost of living package

The Welsh Government’s final Budget for 2022/23 includes an extra £18 million for two housing schemes as well as the £330 million cost of living package revealed two weeks ago.

Details published today (March 1) include an additional £10 million to Tai Ffres, a partnership between Welsh Government, Llamau and United Welsh. The funding will support the alternative housing pathway Tai Ffres has established for young people aged 16 to 25 who do not meet the threshold for homelessness services, or where the traditional route of supported accommodation services would not be suitable for them.

Meanwhile an additional £8 million is being allocated to the Land for Housing scheme for registered social landlords. The scheme aims to increase the supply of housing and the rate of delivery by securing land sites and promotes the creation of local jobs, training opportunities and supports the housing development supply chain.

However, the main change to the Budget is to carry forward £180m of funding from 2021-22, outside the normal Wales Reserve arrangements, to fund additional measures to respond to the cost of living crisis.

The total package, covering 2021-22 to 2022-23, is worth more than £330 million. Around £142 million will be spent on a £150 cost of living payment to all households in council tax bands A-D and all households who get support from the Council Tax Reduction Scheme..

Local authorities will also get a further £25 million through a discretionary fund to target struggling households and the remainder will be focussed on vulnerable families, help with food costs and education.

This includes specific allocations of more than £100 million being invested in the Discretionary Assistance Fund and the Winter Fuel Support Scheme in 2022-23.

The Budget also includes a series of funding commitments to reflect the three-year Co-operation Agreement between Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, including an additional £200 million over the next three years to extend free school meals to all primary school pupils in Wales.

Finance minister Rebecca Evans said the Budget would tackle the climate emergency and strengthen public services and added that: ‘Between the draft budget and the final budget we committed an extra £330m in a support package covering 2021-22 and 2022-23 to help people deal with the cost-of-living crisis. The UK Government’s upcoming Spring Statement is an opportunity for it to deliver meaningful support of its own to help people pay bills and put food on the table. Funding has been allocated to deliver the policy commitments contained within the Co-operation Agreement.’

Lead designated member Siân Gwenllïan MS added: ‘I’m delighted that at the heart of this final budget, there is an investment worth hundreds of millions of pounds in free school meals for every primary school pupil. Ensuring that no child goes hungry is one of our top priorities, especially as more and more families struggle with the rising costs of living. It is a tangible and practical demonstration of our commitment to help the most vulnerable in our society; putting our principles into action through this national budget.’

Stuart Ropke, chief executive of Community Housing Cymru, said: ‘The final Welsh budget is right to focus on further addressing the cost of living crisis and climate change. We also warmly welcome the extra funding for the Land for Housing scheme, in addition to the already record breaking investment in social housing. This sends a strong and clear message of commitment from the Welsh government, to support the sector in building safe, warm and affordable homes across the country over this Senedd period. It is the vote of confidence we were seeking.’


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