Local MP Christina Rees is encouraging all constituents who are entitled to access support and benefits to do so if they are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Citizens Advice have found that around 6 million UK adults have fallen behind on at least one household bill during the pandemic, including rent, utilities, and Council Tax. They also found that those who have been directly affected by the virus, key workers who played a vital role in the response, or those who were already in a financially precarious situation are far more likely to have fallen behind on bills.
This could have a significant impact on the economic recovery as every pound spent on debt repayments is a pound not spent on consuming goods and services on the high street.
Christina Rees said:
“The financial impact of the coronavirus has been devastating for so many people as lockdown reduced or eliminated wages and companies have to resort to redundancies to keep afloat. We need to ensure that everyone is properly supported so that those in financial difficulty are not left drowning in a sea of unmanageable debt. The recent research undertaken by Citizens Advice provides stark evidence of how the coronavirus and lockdown has affected the livelihoods and financial situations of so many. I recently met via video conference with Pat Dunmore of Swansea Neath Port Talbot Citizens Advice to discuss their local work share developments during the challenging past few months, and I wish to commend all they are doing to support my constituents right across Neath.”
The Welsh Government have announced a package of support to prevent a wave of homelessness following the coronavirus pandemic. A new Tenant Saver Loan Scheme will provide an affordable way to cover rent arrears or future months’ rent in order to reduce the risk of eviction and subsequent homelessness.
“It is great to see the Welsh Government introducing this package of support for renters to ensure that a wave of homelessness does not follow the coronavirus pandemic. In order to tackle homelessness, we need to deal with its causes and preventing rent arrears in the first place will go a long way to ensuring that more people are not trapped in perpetual homelessness.”
Citizens’ Advice’s national advice line can be reached on 03444 77 20 20 or you can find details on other ways to contact the service and find information on their website here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/about-us/contact-us.