Written by Huw Irranca Davies, MS

People living in Ogmore and across the country are seeing their wages being stretched whilst bills and living costs rise. This will get worse from April as the energy price cap increases by more than 50% and the biggest tax rises in almost 30 years come into force.

Many are struggling and need help and it is essential that people are aware of any possible financial aid available to them.

The Welsh Government has announced a £330m support package to help people tackle this cost-of-living crisis, building on the support already available in Wales.

  • The non-repayable £200 Winter Fuel Support Scheme cash payment for hundreds of thousands of low-income households.
  • A £150 cost-of-living payment for all households who live in council tax bands A-D and for those who received support through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme across all council tax bands.
  • A further £25m will be provided as a discretionary fund for local councils, to help households which may be struggling, including an extra £22.5m for the provision of free school meals.

Utility companies, in recognising the crisis upon us, are now offering social tariff deals. If you are in trouble with your monthly bills, speak directly to your supplier, whether it be gas, electricity, water rates or others, you may be entitled to help. If you are in social housing and struggling to pay your rent, get in touch with your social landlord who may have a scheme in place. The Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, confidential, specialist advice and support and can guide you through this process, they can also check to see if you qualify for any other financial support.

As more avenues of financial aid become available, this could provide a lifeline for many struggling families, and we must ensure that people are aware of available support. Bridgend County Borough Council advisors can also advise if you or your family/friends qualify for help with any of the support listed above along with others.

If you are a community group or organisation in Ogmore in need of funding support, pop along to our ‘Funding Advice Day 2022’, this Friday 25th February, from 10am-12midday at Bridgend College in Pencoed.

This event provides an important opportunity for groups in Ogmore to find out more about the different ways in which they can get funding. A wide range of funding providers and experts will be on hand to answer any questions about applying for funding for your Ogmore club, community group or organisation.

The support listed above is a brief summary of what is available. So spread the word to family and friends, make the telephone queries, send the emails, make sure you are not missing out on financial help that you may be entitled to. It could make all the difference.