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A “perfect storm” was how Bevan Foundation Director described the likely impact of changes to social security benefits in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Speaking to staff and volunteers at Swansea and Neath Port Talbot’s AGM on 30th November, Victoria outlined the main changes that would affect more than one in four of the population of working age.
“People are not just affected by one change to their benefits – they are affected by multiple changes”, she said. “Someone who is disabled might not only see their eligibility for Disability Living Allowance re-assessed, but if they have a ‘spare’ bedroom they could see their help with housing costs affected too and are also likely to face having to pay Council Tax for the first time. And if they are no longer eligible for DLA, then anyone who cares for them and get’s Carers Allowance will lose that too. It is a ‘perfect storm’ “, she continued.
The changes to benefits come at a time when Citizens Advice Bureauc across Wales are struggling after their own budgets are being cut too. Neath Port Talbot CAB for example has lost about a quarter of its income, resulting in some tough decisions about priorities.
The presentation was part of the Foundation’s work with Cuts Watch Cymru.