WELSH finance minister Rebecca Evans has unveiled a package of support worth £330 million to help people cope with spiralling living costs.

More than a million households in Wales are expected to benefit from a £150 cost-of-living payment to homes in council tax band A-D.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Evans said: “We’ll be working with local authorities to finalise the delivery of the scheme so it’s as effective as possible.”

The payments are expected to come at a cost of £152 million to the Government and are part of a £330 million package to help people cope with spiralling living costs.

Rebecca Evans

Rebecca Evans

Ms Evans said the payment was “nearly double” that available to homes in England and that the policy would be delivered without any additional funding from Westminster.

She said a further £156 million is due to be allocated to a number of schemes to help people with rising bills in 2022 and 2023.

Among the schemes are an extension to winter fuel support, meaning more people will receive a £200 payment, and also to a “discretionary assistance fund”.

The fund aims to help people pay for essential costs such as food, fuel and clothing.

Ms Evans said: “We’re supporting third sector and voluntary organisations, who can be so important in reaching people in communities.

“We’re investing in our Single Advice Fund so more people receive high quality advice and information about what support is available and how to access it.”

She said the latest announcement will come on top of existing support schemes.

Speaking at the press conference, she said: “Our council tax reduction scheme helps more than 270,000 households a year with their council tax bills. Around 220,000 households pay nothing at all.

“More than 67,000 homes have benefited from our Warm Homes programme, improving home energy efficiency.

“Our winter fuel support scheme, which we have extended today, remains open in this financial year.”

The Senedd, Cardiff

The Senedd, Cardiff

Ms Evans said the Welsh Government was working with 40 organisations to tackle food poverty and food insecurity, as well as extending free school meals to all primary school pupils.

Fielding questions from the media, Ms Evans denied that the Welsh Government’s package of support to tackle the cost-of-living crisis was being spread too thinly.

“We have tried to extend our support to as many households as possible because we know that actually there will be those households which, come April, will be starting to feel this kind of pinch in a way that they haven’t before,” she said.

She continued: “A whole range of things are colliding at the same time which is going to cause problems for families and so we are trying to target the support where it’s needed most, but recognising that that need is very great.”

Ms Evans urged people to claim their £200 winter fuel discount after only half of eligible households put in an application, warning the scheme is due to close on February 28.