Finance Questions 18th October 2011

Mark Drakeford: Pa asesiad y mae’r Gweinidog wedi’i wneud o’r canlyniadau i gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru yn sgil datganoli’r cyfrifoldeb dros Fudd-dal y Dreth Gyngor i Gymru 
[What assessment has the Minister made of the consequences for the overall Welsh Government budget of devolving responsibility for Council Tax Benefit to Wales

Jane Hutt: The Welsh Government is aware of the serious consequences that the changes in the administration of council tax benefit, alongside the 10 per cent cut in funding, could have for the people of Wales. A range of options are being considered. 

Mark Drakeford: Successive Welsh Governments have a strong record of promoting council tax benefit take-up in Wales, which is the least taken up of all the major benefits of the welfare state. Now that this national pillar of the welfare state is about to be kicked away by the coalition Government in Westminster, will you assure us that the efforts that the Welsh Government makes to promote take-up and secure the future of the benefit in Wales will continue just as strongly over the next 12 months? 

Jane Hutt: I thank the Member for Cardiff West for that question. As I said, we are considering options as a result of what will be the ending of the council tax benefit as we know it, alongside the 10 per cent cut with regard to the transfer of resources. We know that some of the most vulnerable citizens of Wales will be affected by these changes, and therefore, as the Minister for Local Government and Communities said recently with local government leaders, we urge a take-up campaign to take us through to that point when we lose that benefit.