News News and blogs Llamau’s Statement in response to the Welsh Government’s draft budget We acknowledge the challenging decisions that the Welsh Government has had to confront in light of the budget settlement and its consequential real terms reduction in spending power. Nevertheless, we have significant concerns regarding the potential implications this may have for the individuals and communities we strive to support. It is disappointing to witness the lack of ability to address the critical financial challenges faced by Housing Support Services like Llamau’s. The absence of any proposed uplift to the Housing Support Grant (HSG) is not only a failure to recognise the invaluable work carried out by support providers but also a disservice to the people Llamau are so privileged to support. Homelessness is not a personal choice; it is often the result of early childhood trauma, abuse, and systemic failures. The individuals we work with deserve more than a mere acknowledgement; they deserve trauma-informed services, compassion, and safe spaces they can call home. The escalating cost-of-living crisis has compounded our difficulties, yet the funding provided fails to keep pace with the surging demand for support services. This shortfall not only jeopardises the sustainability of our services but also hampers our ability to provide fair wages to our dedicated frontline colleagues. This situation is simply unacceptable. Without a substantial uplift to the Housing Support Grant for the financial year 2024/25, there is a genuine risk of services collapsing, leaving people in desperate need of help, with nowhere to turn. The impact will also put huge additional pressures on public sector services which already cannot cope. The consequences of inaction are severe, and the well-being of those we support is at stake. In navigating the 2024/2025 budgetary landscape, whilst Llamau is welcoming the Welsh Government’s commitment to protecting the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Violence budget at £8m we would have liked to see this increase. Demand for these services will only increase during difficult times. Addressing violence against women and providing stability for vulnerable youth directly contributes to preventing the looming spectre of homelessness. In reality, while budget lines are ‘protected’ in real terms, this means a cut. We are happy to see that the Welsh Government is willing to start to address the challenges faced by young care leavers. With an increased funding of £3.5m for the Basic Income Pilot, the Welsh Government is recognising the importance of investing in the stability of young lives. Llamau’s focus remains unwavering, ensuring physical, emotional, and mental well-being for individuals, reducing the risk of homelessness associated with such vulnerabilities. We call on the Welsh Government to do everything they can to protect these vital services looking after those that need support the most.