Cost of living crisis - The People's Plan
Plaid Cymru is on your side. We are out there every day in communities across Wales, fighting on behalf of the people we represent, giving hope and
leadership in these dark times. Plaid Cymru is on the side of those fighting for fair pay, leading the charge to ensure no child goes hungry in school, standing up for renters and campaigning to cut energy bills, and for universal free school meals for children in our schools.
Doing nothing is not an option. The Westminster and Welsh Governments must act now to relieve the pressures that are forcing people into poverty.
What the UK Government should do
1. Boost Benefits
Provide an immediate uplift of £25 to Universal Credit and commit to uprating all benefits in line with inflation from April next year.
2. Slash Energy Prices
Cancel the October price hike, restore last winter’s significantly lower price cap of £1,277 a year, and extend the price cap beyond the six-month limit for households and businesses.
3. Help the Off-Grid
Provide a voucher to purchase 1,000 litres of home heating oil for the 19% of households in Wales that are off the grid for natural gas. An equivalent amount should be paid for those who use LPG or other fuels.
4. Raise the National Living Wage
The Government’s mandatory minimum wage for those over 23—the National Living Wage—should be raised to the level of the Real Living Wage. There
should be a similar increase in the National Minimum Wage for those under 23.
5. Lower duty for car-dependent families
Expand the rural fuel duty relief scheme to communities that are poorly served by public transport, cutting spiralling fuel costs to families with no alternative
to travel except by car.
What the Welsh Government should do
1. Freeze rents and ban evictions
As an emergency measure the Welsh Government should introduce a rent freeze in the private rental sector and a ban on evictions this winter as a first step to a system of rent control.
2. Subsidise public transport
Rail fares should be frozen for 2023, with more off-peak tickets sold at half-price, and bus fares should be capped at £2.
3. Provide fair pay in the public sector
The Welsh Government should provide front-line public-sector workers with pay-rises over the next two years that at least keep pace with inflation on
current projections, using its income tax powers in a progressive way where necessary.
4. Extend free school meals in secondary schools
The Government should move to expand its universal school meals policy to all secondary school pupils, starting with all those children whose families receive Universal Credit.
5. Increase Educational Maintenance Allowance to £45
Raising the Educational Maintenance Allowance by £15, and uprating the eligibility thresholds in equal proportion, will return its value in real terms to its
original level when first introduced almost two decades ago.