Welsh Benefits Charter will ‘make it easier for people to claim what they are entitled to’ vows Minister

“Welsh Benefits Charter has the potential to benefit thousands of people living in poverty,” Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip Jane Hutt has vowed.

The Welsh Benefits Charter aims to make it easier for people to claim all their financial entitlements by creating a more joined-up system where a person only has to tell their story once to access all their entitlements.

The Charter has been endorsed by all 22 local authorities and developed with the ambition to support the most disadvantaged people.

The work to develop a Welsh Benefits System, including the development of the Charter, are linked to commitments in the Welsh Government’s Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

The Minister for Social Justice visited Llanelli Customer Service Hwb with the Designated Member Sian Gwenllian to see the work of the Charter in action.

The Hwb provides a wide range of help, support, and advice on matters such as employability, housing, and trading services, including supporting residents in claiming their entitlements like housing benefit and blue badges.

Speaking during the visit, Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “The launch of the Charter is the first step of the journey not the end point and we are working to turn the Charter commitments into action.

“It is excellent to see an example of a one-stop approach working here at the Llanelli Hwb. It has the potential to benefit thousands of people living in poverty.

“Providing help, support and guidance is critical to supporting people in accessing their financial entitlements and to meet the growing need for impartial and specialist advice.

“We would like to see this approach replicated across Wales.”

Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member Sian Gwenllian said:

“Together we want a system that provides compassionate, timely and easy to navigate support for all those who need it.

“Putting the individual at the heart of the system and building the support they need around them is essential as a matter of basic fairness.

“The Charter is the beginning of our ambitious plans to develop a comprehensive Welsh Benefits System, ensuring better support for those who are entitled to support and benefits in Wales.”

Since the Charter was launched last month an external steering group has already held its first meeting.

The steering group, which is made up of representatives from the Welsh Local Government Association, local authorities, and third sector organisations, will develop and oversee the implementation of an action plan of all the activities necessary to establish a Welsh Benefits System based upon the Charter commitments.

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