Big impact in the Senedd in October

Bevan Foundation Outside of Senedd
Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash
NewsNovember 1st, 2022

The Bevan Foundation’s work has contributed to a proposed Bill and was the subject of a Plaid Cymru debate, as well as providing vital evidence in discussion and committees. 

Take up of benefits

The Bevan Foundation was delighted that a motion from Sioned Williams, MS for South Wales West, to propose a ‘take-up of benefits Bill’ was passed in Plenary on 26th October 2022. The aim of the Bill is to ensure that more money ends up in Welsh people’s pockets by increasing take up of Welsh and local authority support payments. It would place a duty on all public sector organisations to maximise take-up of those benefits and require them to streamline and make consistent the method of application for such benefits.  The idea for a Bill is based on the Bevan Foundation’s case for a Welsh Benefits System to bring together devolved grants and allowances into a coherent and integrated system.

The Bevan Foundation’s work was mentioned many times in the debate on the motion, including by Sioned Williams MS in moving the motion, by Mark Isherwood MS in the Conservatives’ response, and by the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS.

The Welsh Government will consider whether to introduce such a bill or may be selected as a Member’s Bill in the future. 

The Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, also referred to the Bevan Foundation’s work on Welsh Benefits when responding to a question from Sioned Williams MS in plenary on 5th October 2022.

Private sector rents

The Bevan Foundation’s findings on private sector rents and Local Housing Allowance were mentioned in the Plaid Cymru debate on 12th October on private sector rents.  The motion called for the Welsh Government to introduce a rent freeze and a moratorium on evictions.

Mabon ap Gwynfor, MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said:

I’ve referred before to the exceptional work of the Bevan Foundation, who conducted two in-depth studies into local housing allowance, and the fact that in Wales, over the summer period, there were only 60 properties available throughout the whole of Wales at LHA levels.

Later on in the debate, Heledd Fychan, MS for South Wales Central, quoted the Bevan Foundation’s findings on how families are cutting back because of the cost of living crisis.

Education Maintenance Allowance

The Bevan Foundation is pleased that Luke Fletcher, MS for South Wales West, continued his interest in our proposals to uplift Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in a short debate entitled on 12th October.

In the debate he referred to our calculations about the impact of maintaining the value of EMA and the threshold for eligibility at mid-2000s levels, and also quoted some of the young people interviewed as part of the Bevan Foundation’s work on the subject.

In response, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, said:

I acknowledge the work of the Bevan Foundation and continue to welcome their views in terms of where we can make further improvement in terms of our commitment to young people. I realise that young people also are feeling financial pressures as a result of the cost-of-living crisis that we are currently facing.

However, the Minister said that the changes recommended by the Bevan Foundation would cost £15 million, which he regarded as unaffordable.

Child Poverty

In First Minister’s Questions on 25th October, Sioned Williams asked ‘Will the First Minister make a statement on Welsh Government measures to tackle child poverty in South Wales West?’ and quoted the Bevan Foundation’s findings that families are cutting back on food for children.

The First Minister responded that the Cabinet sub committee on the cost of living crisis had heard evidence from the Bevan Foundation the previous day.

Second homes

On 5th October 2022, the Senedd debated the report of the Local Government and Housing Committee on second homes.  The Bevan Foundation’s findings on Airbnb listings were quoted extensively in the debate by Mabon ap Gwynfor, MS for Dwyfor Meironydd, and were also mentioned by Carolyn Thomas, MS for North Wales.

John Griffiths, chair of the Local Government and Housing Committee and MS for Newport East, said:

‘that stark contrast that Members drew between Airbnb properties and those that might think about the local housing allowance and the revenue that would bring is just incredibly stark, isn’t it? It really does show, through the work of the Bevan Foundation and others, what needs to be addressed in terms of the relative attractiveness of particular uses of properties and what will deliver those livable, sustainable communities.’

Social partnership and public procurement bill

The Equality and Social Justice Committee is completing its scrutiny of the Social partnership and public procurement bill. In questioning the Deputy Minister for fair work on 3rd October, the committee raised the Bevan Foundation’s concerns about the membership of the Social Partnership Council.   

Tagged with: Successes


Search and filter the archive using any of the following fields:

  • Choose Type:

  • Choose Focus:

  • Choose Tag: