The Welsh government have found an extra £22m which means the proposed cuts to council tax benefit will not go ahead. The cuts which were due to be made would have seen 230,000 people who had previously had all their council tax paid for them through the benefit system, paying their own council tax for the first time.
The government for the rest of the UK has cut local councils funding for council tax at the same time as putting them in charge of their own council tax benefit system. Opponents in Wales called for their own government to protect benefit recipients from the 10% cut that councils were facing. Despite initially claiming they could not afford to, the Welsh government have now announced that they have some extra money which will allow them to shield benefit recipients from the cuts which would otherwise have seen them on average £67 worse off.
The £22m that is being used to offset the cuts and protect those who claim the means-tested council tax benefit is said to have been found because of budget “flexibility”.