The UK Government has spent approximately £30 million to help some of the most vulnerable in Wales to cope with the recent cold snap, Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats revealed today.
At the Spending Review in October, the Coalition Government turned the temporary increase in the Cold Weather Payments by the last Labour government into a permanent increase. The payments of £25 per week are triggered when temperatures at local weather stations dip below an average of zero degrees over a week.
Around 300,000 people in Wales have received at least one payment during winter 2010-2011, totalling around £30 million of financial assistance to the elderly.
Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:
“The Liberal Democrats in government in the UK are totally committed to helping the most vulnerable in Wales and cold weather payments are just one example of the steps they are taking to make sure people can cope with the weather conditions we saw a few months back. This is money well spent in Wales.
“We are committed to helping those who cannot help themselves during difficult times and that is why I am proud that our commitment during the election last year to restore the link between earnings and pensions is now UK government policy. Pensioners are getting a fair increase in their pension.
“Also, from April onwards, thousands of workers across Wales will see more of their hard earned money stay in their take-home salary as Liberal Democrat policy of increasing the personal allowance for income tax to help lower and middle income earners will kick-in. We are changing the tax system to make it fairer by lifting the poorest workers out of Income Tax altogether and cutting taxes for most people.”