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Chancellor must use powers to help people through cost-of-living crisis

Senedd. Credit: Adobe Stock

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget [Wednesday 15 March], Wales’ Finance Minister has said the UK Government must maintain the £2,500 Energy Price Guarantee and take targeted, decisive action to ease the worsening financial challenges many people and businesses are experiencing as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

Rebecca Evans said:

“The UK Government’s Spring Budget is being delivered in the face of the continuing cost-of living crisis, with energy and food prices remaining high.

“The Chancellor has the powers to make better use of his welfare and tax levers, as well as room in the public purse, to ease the challenges being experienced by households and businesses. This must be used to immediately support those most vulnerable – including practical actions to support people with energy costs, housing needs and welfare benefits. Maintaining the £2,500 Energy Price Guarantee beyond April would be an integral part of this.

“It is imperative the Chancellor acts on NHS and public sector funding and restores pay for public sector workers to real terms. The NHS turns 75 this year and it is a real opportunity to invest and reform.

“Our own budget is worth up to £1bn less in real terms in 2023 to 2024, so we need to see the UK Government properly invest in public services in recognition of the erosive impact of inflation across the country.

“I have written to the Chancellor and met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to stress the need for real investment in Wales, our people, and its public services – this Spring Budget is the time for meaningful action.”