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Helping Wales through the Covid-19 pandemic

17 March 2020
Citizens Advice Cymru's briefing on potential measures the Welsh Government could take to protect the most vulnerable families in Wales in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (read the full report here) Google Drive .

More than 400,000 people in Wales have no savings at all, and 1 in 8 adults (13%) polled reported that they would only be able to keep covering the cost of essentials for up to a week if their main source of household income was lost.

In order to protect the financial resilience of families and individuals affected by the pandemic, Citizens Advice Cymru is urging the Welsh Government to take the following steps:

Access to financial support: allocate additional funding through the Discretionary Assistance Fund; make self-isolation a qualifying emergency for Emergency Assistance Payments.

Council tax arrears: amend council tax regulations to ensure people are not liable for their annual bill when they miss a payment; councils should avoid using court and enforcement action to collect council tax debts.

Housing: suspend section 21, to reduce no-fault evictions, and amend the grounds under which a section 8 order can be made to ensure people are not being evicted as a consequence of being in arrears due to coronavirus; issue guidance to private and social landlords to set out expectations on how households who fall into arrears as a consequence of coronavirus should be supported.