With inflation at nine per cent, Ann Francis from Cambrian Credit Union looks at how people can be better supported through the cost-of-living crisis.

As the cost-of-living crisis escalates, I’ve been impressed to see employers across north Wales reaching out to find new ways to support their staff.

With inflation at a 40-year high, it goes without saying that many employers can’t keep up with a corresponding nine per cent pay rise, but some are looking to support staff in other ways. We’ve been contacted by a number of organisations in recent months, interested in working with us to better support the financial wellbeing of their employees through the Moneyworks Wales salary savings and loans scheme.

That 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 reported reducing their spend on groceries.

Every day at Cambrian we are seeing more people struggling to cover the basics due to price rises.

When we live pay-cheque to pay-cheque with little or no savings, every extra cost can become a financial emergency. It doesn’t have to be anything as dramatic as a broken-down car or washing machine on the blink to break the budget, ripped school uniform, or a worn-out pair of school shoes can be enough to put family finances on the edge.

To help support the financial wellbeing of Welsh workers Cambrian has joined forces with nine other credit unions to deliver Moneyworks Wales.

Backed by Welsh Government, TUC Wales and 150 Welsh employers, Moneyworks Wales is a payroll scheme that allows staff to save or borrow direct from their salary. Even putting away a small amount each month can build a useful financial buffer. When there is no buffer, Moneyworks Wales can also help with affordable loans, from as little as £100, with no early repayment fees.

Denbighshire Free Press: Ann Francis of Cambrian Credit UnionAnn Francis of Cambrian Credit Union

The Moneyworks Wales website also has some clever interactive budgeting tools aimed to help people at different stages of life get on top of your finances. You can find the tools and more information on the scheme at moneyworkswales.com.

It’s also worth remembering that if you are struggling financially, there is help available. While headlines have focused on the Chancellor’s £15bn to help with energy bills, this isn’t the only support out there: A “Claim What’s Yours’ free helpline run by Citizen’s Advice, has been set up to guide people – including those in work – to the benefits they may be missing out on, you can call it on 0808 250 5700.