Representatives from 19 organisations, such as Shelter Cymru, Disability Wales and Carers Alliance Wales, will meet with the Minister with responsibility for Welfare Reform Leighton Andrews; Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant; Minister for Housing, Huw Lewis and the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas.
Mr Andrews, who will chair the meeting, explained that today was a chance for organisations, who represent those most likely to be affected, to raise their concerns about the effects of welfare reforms on some of the most vulnerable in Wales and the economy as whole.
“Wales will be hit disproportionately compared to the rest of the UK by the welfare reforms proposed by the UK Government,” he said
“The Welsh Government intends to respond to these challenges in a progressive manner, continuing to protect vulnerable members of society and striving to lift people out of poverty,” he said.
“We are not opposed to the principle of welfare reform. We would welcome a simpler, more transparent benefit system that makes work pay; and provides genuine support to individuals to help them find and keep work.
“Enabling people to work would be of immense benefit to Wales and that is why we remain absolutely committed to encouraging and supporting people into work – for example through our pledge to create thousands of job opportunities through Jobs Growth Wales.”
Earlier this year Mr Andrews raised the Welsh Government's concerns about the UK Government's Welfare Reform Bill and their wider welfare agenda.
A Ministerial Task and Finish Group for Welfare Reform was established to assess and monitor the cumulative impact of welfare reforms in Wales and on Welsh Government policies and services.
In February, the findings from the first stage of this analysis were published. That initial research found that any negative implications of the changes will have a disproportionately higher impact in Wales than the rest of the UK.