In the Senedd, January 2024 

Bevan Foundation
NewsFebruary 1st, 2024

Find out how the Bevan Foundation informed Senedd Debate in January 2024

The Bevan Foundation kicked off the year with a big impact, with our work contributing significantly to Senedd debate in Plenary and Committees. The Foundation’s insights on a Welsh Benefits System have been drawn on heavily throughout the month.  

Welsh Benefits System  

Sioned Williams MS referred to our recently published report, ‘Making the Case for a Welsh Benefits System- people’s experiences’, to inform the debate in Plenary on child poverty, drawing on our findings that current grants and allowances designed to support children in poverty are not fit for purpose.  

Mark Isherwood MS referenced the report to support the call to promote free school meals to secondary school children from households in receipt of universal credit. To ensure that people are aware of entitlement, he said that this “is best addressed within a streamlined Welsh benefits system”.  

The Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt MS, mentioned in Plenary the agreement of the final draft of the charter for delivery of Welsh Benefits, and said:  

In that context, I would like to acknowledge the work undertaken by the Bevan Foundation to improve access to Welsh benefits and thank them for—and it’s been mentioned this afternoon as well by Sioned Williams, and, indeed, by the Chair—their recently published report, ‘Making the case for a Welsh Benefits System—people’s experiences’” 

In the Equality and Social Justice Committee on January 22, Sioned Williams MS raised a question as to the financial pressures on local authorities in delivering a charter, referring to Bevan Foundation’s calls for an improved system. Highlighting the complexity of the current system, Sioned also mentioned our Lunchtime Launch, and referred to the Foundation’s report in Plenary on January 23 to ensure current policies, such as the schools essentials grant, are not undermined. 

In a Child Poverty Strategy session in Plenary on January 23, John Griffiths MS, said “the Bevan Foundation itself has done some very good work, I think, in supporting that and explaining the value in terms of putting over £70 million into the pockets of the most vulnerable households here in Wales”. 

The report, and the Foundation’s long-term work on a Welsh Benefits System, was recognised by Jane Hutt MS, and Mark Isherwood MS, in Plenary on January 31.  

Child Poverty  

Cefin Campbel MS in Plenary on January 10 drew on the Bevan Foundation’s research to highlight rural child poverty and the effect of the cost-of-living crisis. Sioned Williams MS also referred to the Bevan Foundation in relation to infrastructure costs of providing free school meals to secondary school children. 

In Plenary on January 23, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt MS, recalled being told by the Bevan Foundation to increase the take-up of Healthy Start Vouchers and stated that Wales now has the highest take-up of the scheme On the same day, Mark Isherwood MS, quoted the Bevan Foundation’s statement that minimal progress has been made over the last decade in reducing child poverty.  


The Foundation’s latest report on Childcare informed the debate on petitions concerning support for childcare costs on January 31.  Sioned Williams MS, drew on many of the findings in the report which show the unaffordability of childcare and the complex pattern of support that exists. 


In Plenary on January 9, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS used Bevan Foundation research from 2022 on the increase in the number of homes used as short-term holiday lets.  

Welsh Government Draft Budget 

On January 10, Bevan Foundation’s Director, Dr Victoria Winckler, gave evidence to the Finance Committee on how the increasing cost of living crisis is reflected in the Welsh Government Draft Budget.  

On January 22 in the Equality and Social Justice Committee, Sarah Murphy MS drew on the evidence Dr Victoria Winckler, Bevan Foundation Director, gave to the Finance Committee the previous week. 


Tagged with: Media coverage


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