Cost of Living Crisis: Support Available with Cambrian Credit Union
With inflation at 9%, Anne Francois from Cambrian Credit Union looks at how people can be better supported during the cost of living crisis.
As the cost of living crisis deepens, I have been impressed to see employers across North Wales looking for new ways to support their staff.
With inflation at its highest level in 40 years, it goes without saying that many employers cannot keep up with a corresponding 9% wage increase, but some are looking to support their staff in other ways. We have been contacted by a number of organizations in recent months interested in working with us to better support the financial wellbeing of their employees through the Moneyworks Wales employee savings and loan scheme.
This support is very much needed. Energy bills are currently rising 23 times faster than wages, while according to the Office for National Statistics, 41% of adults said they have reduced their grocery spending.
Every day at Cambrian we see more and more people struggling to cover basic needs due to rising prices.
When we live paycheck to paycheck with little or no savings, every additional cost can become a financial emergency. It doesn’t have to be something as dramatic as a car or washing machine breaking down in the blink of an eye to break the budget, a ripped school uniform or a worn pair of school shoes. can be enough to put the family’s finances over the edge.
To help support the financial wellbeing of Welsh workers, Cambrian has partnered with nine other credit unions to provide Moneyworks Wales.
Backed by the Welsh Government, TUC Wales and 150 Welsh employers, Moneyworks Wales is a payroll system that allows staff to save or borrow directly from their pay. Even setting aside a small amount each month can create a useful financial reserve. Where there is no buffer, Moneyworks Wales can also help you with affordable loans, from just £100, with no prepayment charges.
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The Moneyworks Wales website also offers smart interactive budgeting tools aimed at helping people at different stages of life get their finances under control. You can find the tools and more information about the program at moneyworkswales.com.
Also remember that if you are in financial difficulty, help is available. While headlines have focused on the Chancellor’s £15billion to help pay energy bills, that’s not the only support available: a free ‘Claim What’s Yours’ helpline run by Citizen’s Advice, has been set up to guide people – including those in work – to the benefits they might miss, you can call them on 0808 250 5700.