In a Full Council meeting on 24 January 2018, Ceredigion County Council passed a motion noting concern over the introduction of Universal Credit in Ceredigion in September 2018.

The motion was proposed by the Council’s Poverty Champion and Cabinet Member responsible for Learning Services, Flying Start and Team Around the Family, Councillor Catrin Miles. The motion was seconded by the Cabinet Member responsible for Social Services, Councillor Catherine Hughes. The motion notes that Westminster Government’s Universal Credit scheme is causing a social emergency and that the rollout of Universal Credit outside of Wales has caused serious financial difficulties for thousands of claimants.

The motion calls on the Welsh Government to begin discussions with the UK Government to demand devolution to the National Assembly for Wales of powers to allow payment flexibilities and the housing element of Universal Credit in order to protect some of Wales’s most vulnerable people from the problems experienced elsewhere. The motion also calls on the Welsh Government to demand a fiscal framework which will accommodate the devolution of these elements of social security and to demand that payment for rent is made directly to the landlord to avoid homelessness and ensure that people have a roof over their heads.

Councillor Catrin Miles said, “The changes to the benefit system in Ceredigion are upcoming, therefore every effort must be made to ensure that the changes are made in a way that support the wellbeing of the people of the county. The passing of this motion sends a clear message that the Council is of the opinion that additional advocacy is needed on behalf of Ceredigion residents.”

Councillors discussed and passed the motion. The motion will now be presented to the Welsh Government.