Many households, businesses, charities and public sector organisations across Wales are facing considerable challenges from rising costs.
Senedd Research answers questions from Members and their staff through the usual enquiry process, but we’ve also collated some links to reliable information from official and reputable sources to help people in Wales.
The Welsh Government has a webpage for all its cost of living information, a page dedicated to the Wales fuel support scheme and local authorities will also provide information on the support available to help with the rising cost of living.
Advicelink Cymru is a Welsh Government funded Citizens Advice service designed to help those who are unsure about the benefits they can claim and claim what they are entitled to.
We will be updating this page regularly. If there is any information missing or something you would like to see included, please contact Senedd Research.
You can jump to each section below:
The Welsh Government has a single web page which provides advice and support on the cost of living. The main support for households are:
- A Discretionary Assistance Fund to support people experiencing extreme financial hardship through providing grants for essentials such as food, gas, electricity and clothing.
- Council tax discounts and reduction
- Help to ensure people are accessing benefits they are entitled to.
- A Cost of Living Payment which means individuals on certain benefits and tax credits may be entitled to a payment of £900 paid in three lump sums in 2023-24 of £301 (Spring 2023), £300 (Autumn 2023) and £299 (Spring 2024). If you haven’t received a 2022 Cost of Living Payment that you were eligible for, you can report it to the UK Government.
- From July 2023, the Energy Price Cap for an annual energy bill of £2,074 for a typical UK household will be implemented, and will apply until the end of September 2023, as it is adjusted quarterly. The Energy Price Guarantee remains in place until the end of March 2024, however as prices will go down from July it will be held in reserve unless the typical energy bill for a household subsequently rises to above £3,000.
- A Winter Fuel Payment for those born on or before 25 September 1956 who may automatically receive between £250 and £600 to help towards heating bills. The amount will include a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of between £150 and £300 in winter 2023 to 2024.
- A £150 Disability Cost of Living payment is currently being made to people on qualifying disability benefits.
- Budgeting Loans for people in receipt of certain benefits for at least six months to be spent on items such as furniture, white goods and costs associated with moving house.
In addition to support for the cost of living, there is a range of other benefits and financial support which is available. You can check eligibility via:
- The Welsh Government is currently running the Claim What’s Yours campaign to help those unsure about what benefits they can claim access what they’re entitled to. It funds Citizens Advice to provide advice to people on this through Advicelink Cymru.
- UK Government, benefit and financial support
- UK Government, Benefit calculators
You can read our article for a summary of the challenges businesses across Wales are facing and support available to help with these.
- Development Bank of Wales, Green Business Loan Scheme
- UK Government, Energy Bills Discount Scheme
- UK Government, Find funding to help your business become greener
- UK Government, Support for energy intensive industries
- Business Wales, Finance locator
- Business Wales, Non-Domestic Rates – Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief in Wales – 2023-24
- Business Wales, Non-Domestic Rates - Transitional Rates Relief for the 2023 Revaluation
- Chartered Institute for Personal Development, Cost-of-living crisis: How to help your employees
- Ofgem, Getting help if your business can’t afford its energy bills
Under 16 years of age
- UK Government, Healthy start payment
- Welsh Government, Help paying for childcare; the Childcare Offer for Wales, Family Information Services and the Flying Start Programme
- Welsh Government, Free School Meals
- Welsh Government, Free Breakfast
- Welsh Government, School Essentials Grant
Over 16 years of age
- Welsh Government, Cost of living support for university students
- Welsh Government Further Education
- Welsh Government, Learning Grant (FE)
- Welsh Government, Education Maintenance Allowance
- Welsh Government, Higher Education
- Welsh Government, Disabled Students’ Allowance
- Student Finance Wales, Student Finance
- Business Wales, Workforce rights and responsibilities
- Careers Wales, Support Finder
- Welsh Government, Employment support
- Welsh Government, Fair work and trade unions
- Welsh Government , Working Wales – Redundancy Support
- Welsh Government, Working Wales – Young Person’s Guarantee
- UK Government, Benefits and financial support if you're looking for work
- Citizens Advice, Work
Under regulator Ofgem’s rules, energy suppliers must work with customers to agree an affordable payment plan if they are worried about paying energy bills.
Energy suppliers recommend that customers contact them if they are worried about being able to pay energy bills. They are able to provide a range of support including grants, income maximisation, and providing energy-efficient appliances.
Citizens’ Advice has published details of grants that energy suppliers provide to customers in debt with their bills – typically for their own customers although the British Gas Energy Trust sometimes has grants available to customers of other energy suppliers.
- British Gas, Energy Support Fund
- EON, Energy Fund
- EDF Energy, Customer Support Fund
- Octopus, Octo Assist Fund
- Scottish Power, Hardship Fund
- Wales and West Utilities, Warm Home Assistance
- Ofgem, Getting help if you can’t afford your energy bills
- Warm Wales offers free advice, support referrals, and access to grants to ensure people across Wales have warm and safe homes
- Simple Energy Advice provides impartial and independent advice to help you reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer, plan home improvements and make your home greener.
- National Energy Action’s WASH Advice Service provides households with advice on energy bills and keeping warm and safe in their home.
- Care & Repair Cymru, 70+ Cymru Service
Energy efficiency support
- Welsh Government, Nest programme
- UK Government, Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
- UK Government, Boiler Upgrade Scheme
- Energy Saving Trust, Support for home energy efficiency in Wales
- UK Government, Green Deal
Carers and older people
- UK Government, Pensioner cost of living payment
- Age Cymru, Information and advice
- Care and Repair Cymru, Welfare benefit income maximisation checks
- Carers Wales, Money Matters Hub
- UK Government, Disability Cost of Living Payment
- Disability Wales, Benefits
- Disability Can do, Welfare & Wellbeing – Disability Can Do
- Learning Disability Wales, Money, banking and benefits
- Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Cost of Living Factsheet Money and benefits
- Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID), Benefits
Ethnic Minorities and migrant communities
- Welsh Government, Help for sanctuary seekers to understand their rights
- Welsh Government, Free bus and train travel advice for refugees
- Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team (EYST) Wales, What we offer
- Welsh Government, Help to pay for NHS Costs
- Welsh Government, Help to pay for NHS Costs (Low Income Scheme)
- Welsh Government, Help with NHS travel costs
- Welsh Government, Live Fear Free
- Free period products are provided at colleges and schools, and local authorities provide free period products in community locations such as hubs and libraries.
- Care & Repair offers a service to support older people who are medically fit for discharge but not able to return home due to housing disrepair or an environmental issue.
Our constituency guide provides information to help Members of the Senedd and their staff respond to constituents’ mental health concerns, and signpost people to relevant sources of support.
Tenants in social housing can contact the local authority or housing association they rent from for help and support. Anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness should contact their local authority.
- UK Government, Housing costs and Universal Credit
- Welsh Government, Council tax discounts and reduction
- UK Government, Discretionary Housing Payment
- Shelter Cymru, Paying for housing
- Care & Repair Cymru, How we can help
Households concerned about paying their mortgages should speak to their lender as soon as possible. There are also support schemes and sources of advice available:
- UK Government, Support for Mortgage Interest
- UK Government, Mortgage Charter (this is an agreement the UK Government has come to with lenders and industry bodies on standards for helping mortgage payers)
- The Welsh Government is currently developing support for mortgage payers under the Help to Stay banner. We’ll link to details as these become available.
- Shelter Cymru, Mortgage rescue schemes (these are operated by some local authorities and housing associations)
- Citizens Advice, Dealing with mortgage arrears
- Citizens Advice, Get help with the cost of living
- Citizens Advice, Advicelink Cymru
- Turn2Us, Support with the Cost of Living
- Money Helper, Cost of living support
- Care & Repair, Partner organisations
Debt advice, savings and loans
- Step Change debt charity, Coping with the rising cost of living
- National Debtline, Making the most of your money
- Credit unions, re not-for-profit, member-owned, community savings and loans providers.
Scams and consumer rights
Public transport services
- Traveline Cymru’s website provides information to plan journeys and check changes in services.
- Fflecsi demand responsive services may provide alternative to timetabled services.
- The Community Transport Association’s operator search tool may help you find Community Transport alternatives.
- Wales Concessionary Fares Scheme: free travel on bus and some rail services for those over 60, and people with certain disabilities and their companions
- Mytravelpass: Mytravelpass offers 16-21 year olds about 1/3 off the equivalent adult bus fare.
- National Rail Senior Railcard offers 1/3 off train travel.
- National Rail 16-25 Railcard offers 1/3 off train travel for 16-25 year olds;
- National Rail 16-17 Saver offers 50% offers 50% off most tickets for 16 and 17 year olds.
- National Rail 26-30 Railcard offers 1/3 off train travel for 26-30 year olds.
- Jobseekers can access help with travel costs through the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card which
Multi-operator / multi journey tickets
- Plusbus: bought with a train ticket, offers unlimited bus and tram travel around rail-served British towns and cities.
- Ranger and Rover Tickets: Unlimited travel for one day on Transport for Wales Rail train services and some bus services on some parts of their network.
- South East Wales Network Rider: A daily or weekly ticket valid on services run by a number of operators across South-East Wales.
- 1Bws: bought on their first journey, a 1Bws ticket is valid for the day on virtually all local bus services operating in North Wales (Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Wrexham).
- Bike2Work Scheme, employees of participating employers can save up to 48.25% off bikes and equipment.
- MoneySavingExpert provides advice on how to buy a cheap bike, cycle hire schemes etc.
- Confused.com, petrol price checker.
- Go.compare, Petrol and diesel prices
- Petrolprices.com, Compare cheap petrol, diesel and fuel today
- RAC, How to save money as a driver – 30 quick money-saving tips.
- AA, Save fuel and money with eco-driving.