New Cost of Living Crisis Resource Launched

Today Public Health Network Cymru in partnership with the Building a Healthier Wales Co-ordination group have launched their new cost of living crisis resource. This brings together resources and case studies on how public bodies, the third sector, and their partnerships can respond to the cost of living crisis in order to protect health.

The UK is facing its biggest cost of living crisis in decades (Citizens Advice 2022). People’s wages and welfare payments are not keeping pace with rising living costs, in particular, the costs of energy, fuel, housing, and food. Businesses and public services are also seeing their budgets not go as far in the face of rising costs.

As prices rise, people are faced with difficult choices about what to cut back on such as whether to ‘heat or eat’. This is likely to have serious health, well-being and equity implications for the population of Wales.

People living in the poorest parts of Wales already die more than six years earlier than those in the least deprived areas and spend more years in poorer health. The cost of living crisis will accelerate what were already increasing differences in health between those with more and less money in Wales (Public Health Wales, 2022).

A recent report about the cost of living crisis details how not being able to afford the essentials, such as food, rent or mortgage payments, heating and hot water, or transport, has significant and wide-ranging negative impacts on mental and physical health.

Much of the health harms and widening of inequalities Welsh citizens are facing as a result of the cost of living crisis are exacerbations of existing problems, such as poverty, lower wages, and an older, less energy efficient housing stock.

The cost of living crisis requires an urgent public health response in order to mitigate the negative effects of the immediate crisis across a number of policy areas as well as tackle the underlying causes of health inequalities to create a healthier and more equal Wales in the long-term.

The Building a Healthier Wales Co-ordination* group are collaborating with Public Health Network Cymru to develop these pages for agencies and partnerships in Wales, to inform their actions and responses. They will be reviewed and added to as evidence base develops. The webpage will include up to date resources and information to assist all sectors with their responses.

 

*The Building a Healthier Wales Coordination Group is a strategic, multi-agency group of senior leaders from across the public, third and private sectors, working to go beyond what could be achieved by health and care alone in order to drive the shift to prevention and achieve a healthy and sustainable Wales.

If you would like to contribute to this page please email the team at [email protected]

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