NDM8073 - Opposition DebateTabled on 07/09/2022 | For debate on 21/09/2022
To propose that the Senedd:
1. Believes that the current increases in energy bills are unsustainable and that they will cause financial strain and hardship on households, businesses, and community groups, whilst fossil fuel companies are making record profits.
2. Calls on the Welsh Government to immediately implement broader cost-of-living emergency measures, such as:
a) halving rail fares and cap bus fares;
b) working with local authorities to clear some of the significant council tax arrears that have been built up over the course of the pandemic;
c) a rent freeze;
d) reinstating measures to ban winter evictions;
e) expanding the free school meals scheme to secondary school children;
f) increasing the educational maintenance allowance to £45.
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Believes the UK Government is failing to grasp the severity of this crisis and that it would allow working people to cover the cost of an energy cap instead of taxing the record profits of gas and oil producers.
Welcomes the £1.6bn invested in targeted cost-of-living support and universal programmes which put money back in people’s pockets provided by the Welsh Government this financial year, including:
a) extending the £200 Winter Fuel Support Payment to 400,000 households this winter;
b) rolling out universal primary free school meals from September 2022;
c) investing £51.6m in the Discretionary Assistance Fund to provide an emergency lifeline for people in severe financial crisis;
d) £4m to fund fuel vouchers to help people on pre-payment meters and a fuel bank for people not on mains gas.
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Notes that the UK Government has introduced an energy profits levy.
Welcomes the action taken by the UK Government to tackle the cost of living, including:
a) an energy price guarantee, capping energy costs;
b) cost-of-living payments for those on low income benefits and tax credits worth £650;
c) a disability cost-of-living payment worth £150;
d) monthly reductions in fuel bills from October worth £400;
e) an increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour;
f) a reduction in the universal credit taper rate;
g) a freeze on fuel duty;
h) a two year freeze on the TV licence fee;
i) extra winter fuel payments.
Calls on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to support people, businesses and the third sector to meet the challenges ahead.