Call to simplify devolved-benefits in Wales

By Laura Sharman | 28 July 2022

A new report has called on the Welsh Government to simplify the benefit system to help more people during the cost of living crisis.

A new report from the Senedd’s Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee has warned that people may be losing out on key lifeline services due to an 'over-complex' applications system.

It is calling on the Welsh Government to explore the idea of a one-stop portal for households to apply for the different means-tested schemes.

The report argues this would help end the postcode lottery of systems that vary by different local authority areas and increase take-up.

Paul Davies, chair of the committee, said: 'Although the Welsh Government is trying to support people through the crisis, our inquiry has shown that the support is simply not reaching enough people - the benefits available are complex and that can affect take up. We need to see a simpler system, so the schemes are easier and more accessible to increase take-up.

'The Committee believes the Welsh Government should use its considerable ‘soft power’ to improve terms and conditions for the lowest paid, for example by improving sick pay for social care workers and providing a fair wage for those paid from the public purse.'

The report also calls for more to be done to support those in work who are increasingly struggling, and for local authorities to pay the real Living Wage.

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