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Pensioners and low-paid workers are to benefit from a new anti-poverty plan
Swansea Council's Cabinet have unveiled ambitious plans designed to tackle poverty and create a
Pensioners, those on low incomes and the Council’s lowest-paid workers will all benefit from the measures being introduced over the coming months.
The Council plans to introduce a living wage to provide up to 3,000 of its lowest paid jobs a salary increase from April 2013.
On top of that thousands of pensioners will get a council tax bill reduction of £124 this year and more support will be on offer to help people claim appropriate benefits in light of the Government’s proposed changes to welfare.
The Council will also be promoting Credit Unions as an affordable way to borrow and save money.
David Phillips, Leader of the Council, said the authority’s lowest-paid workers had the right to expect a "living wage” and he hoped the initiatives would also provide a lift to the local economy.
He said: "The Council has made tacking poverty one of its priorities and by increasing the income for our lowest-paid staff we can help to improve their standard of living.
"Our lowest-paid staff are doing some of the most important and challenging jobs in the Council and we believe they should be paid a decent salary for their work.
"This is about social justice and making sure people have a decent wage, but I hope it will also provide a boost to the local economy because people will have a little extra money to spend in local shops and businesses.”
Outlining the boost for pensioners, Cllr Rob Stewart, Cabinet Member for Finance, said almost 3,000 pensioners will each have £124 taken off their bill this year thanks to a grant from the Welsh Government.
He said: "This is good news for thousands of pensioners in Swansea. We want to use this grant to help pensioners at a time when living costs are high and food and fuel bills are hitting people hard.
"This rebate will make a difference for many pensioners who may otherwise have struggled to pay their bill.”
And in a separate move all 10 members of the Cabinet are joining Loans and Savings Abertawe (LASA), Swansea’s local Credit Union.
Ryland Doyle, Cabinet Member for Target Areas, said: "LASA do a terrific job in helping local people access loans, goods and services that they might not be able to afford in any other way.
"We’ve all seen the hugely expensive payday loans adverts on TV. Credit unions like LASA are an effective alternative to them and the Cabinet wants to show its support by joining up.”