Welsh Government won't reconsider funding cuts
Tuesday 14th March 2017
Contact a Family Cymru, Carers Wales and Learning Disability Wales would like to thank all the families who contacted their assembly members (AMs) to back over 4,000 low income families with disabled children ahead of the debate on Wednesday 8 March about cuts to funding of the Family Fund in Wales.
Our campaign against the cut
The Welsh Government has made a £5.5million cut to Family Fund grants, which continue to be fully funded in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. Over 4,000 families a year are now unable to access grants of an average of £500.
Our joint campaign asked families to email their AM asking them to support a motion to reverse the cut to Family Fund funding. At very short notice there was a great response from across Wales, with over 469 people taking action and sending 1,659 emails to their AMs in just four days, many adding how the cut has affected them personally.
These individual stories were quoted throughout the debate, clearly demonstrating the negative impact on thousands of low income families with disabled children across Wales. The AM briefings provided by Contact a Family Cymru, Carers Wales and Learning Disability Wales were also referred to throughout the debate.
The Welsh Government responded to the debate, focusing on its general project funding for the third sector and support for voluntary organisations working with disabled children and their families across Wales.
Assembly votes against cut reversal
When it came to the vote, all opposition parties (27 AMs) voted in favour of the motion calling on the Welsh Government to look again at their decision to cut funding to low income families with disabled children via individual grants from the Family Fund or another route.
The Labour group (28 AMs) voted against it. Once opposition debates are put to the vote at the Assembly, it is to be expected that the Labour Party, which currently has a majority, requires its AMs to back the Government.
So the motion was not agreed and there was no commitment in the chamber from the Welsh Government to reconsider its decision. However, the Assembly as a whole and the Welsh Government have now heard directly from families - via your emails and during the debate - about the negative impact the £5.5million cut to Family Fund grants is having on low income families with disabled children across Wales.
Carers Wales, Contact a Family Cymru and Learning Disability Wales will continue to campaign on this important issue and discuss ways forward with the Welsh Government.