Responding to the publication of the 'Households below average income' statistics released today, Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Finance Minister, commented:
"These figures reflect the global downturn our nation is currently going through and shows the effect this is having on people living in Wales.
"The Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are taking steps to help the poor in our society. We are cutting taxes for ordinary working people, working towards a stronger economy and a fairer society. The Income Tax Allowance will be raised to £10,000 in April 2014, a tax cut of £700 every year for over 1.1 million people in Wales. This is enough for a working couple to pay their council tax or combined gas and electricity bills for a year and will help some to move out of income poverty. By April 2014 we will have taken 106,000 Welsh low-income workers out of paying tax altogether.
"Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition, pensioners are getting the most generous settlement ever, contributing to the 1% drop in pensioners living in relative income poverty. We now have a triple lock guarantee in place. As a result the State pension will rise by the highest of inflation, the rise in earnings or 2.5% each year. That means that in April 2013 the full state pension went up by 2.5%. That is on top of the £5.30 a week rise last April and the £4.50 a week rise in 2010. Pensioners on the full state pension are now £650 a year better off than they were under Labour."