Closed petition Increase benefits in line with current levels of inflation

The Government must increase benefits in line with current levels of inflation (at least 6.2), to help stop the cost of living crisis becoming a poverty emergency.

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Inflation-linked benefits and tax credits will rise by 3.1% from April 2022, in
line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation in September 2021.

However, inflation has now reached 6.2% and are expected to keep rising. This will hit the poorest families hardest and failing to increase benefits to match will push more people into poverty.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 6 June 2022

We are providing over £15bn of support for those with the greatest need. This is in addition to the £22bn announced previously, with support for the cost of living totalling over £37bn this year.

Read the response in full

The Government disagrees with this petition.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is required by law to undertake an annual review of benefits and pensions. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) in the year to September is the latest figure that she can use to allow sufficient time for the required operational changes before new rates can be introduced at the start of the new financial year. Benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the year to the previous September. Over the past 35 years, there have been a number of occasions where uprating decisions were implemented at a higher rate than the prevailing inflation when they come into force as the index balances over time. For example, in 2012 benefits were increased by 5.2% whereas by the following April CPI was 3% and in 2020 the increase was 1.7% while CPI fell to 0.8% by April. Forecasts currently project inflation to be falling by Spring 2023.

The Secretary of State’s decisions regarding benefits and pensions for 2022/23 were announced to Parliament on 25 November 2021 and the increase of 3.1% from April 2022 was debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament earlier this year. In 2022/23, welfare expenditure in Great Britain is forecast to be around £243bn.

The Secretary of State’s annual review of benefits and pensions for the tax year 2023/24 will commence in the autumn as per convention. Following the completion of her review the Secretary of State’s decisions will be announced to Parliament in the normal way.

The Chancellor announced further, immediate help with the cost of living on 26 May. The Government is aware that millions of households across the UK are struggling to make their incomes stretch to cover the rising cost of living. That is why the Government is providing over £15bn in further support, particularly targeted at those with the greatest need. This package is in addition to the over £22bn announced previously, with Government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37bn this year. This means that almost all the 8 million most vulnerable households will get £1,200 this year, in one-off support to help with the cost of living, with all domestic electricity customers receiving at least £400.

Measures in the Chancellor’s announcement include;

• £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits;

• £300 one-off increase to the winter fuel payment so pensioner households will receive either £500 or £600, depending on the age of those living in the household;

• £150 one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment for those on disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.

• An additional £500 million of local support, from October 2022, to be administered by Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to help those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. This brings the total amount of additional support to £1.5bn since October 2021.

Department for Work and Pensions

Other parliamentary business

MPs question the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

On Wednesday 29 June, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee held an evidence session where they questioned the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey MP. The session focused on the cost of living and how to support those on low incomes through the social security system.

Watch the session back:

Read the transcript:

What is the Work and Pensions Committee?

The Work and Pensions Committee examines the policies and spending of the Department for Work and Pensions, including benefits for people in and out of work, state pensions and how private pensions are regulated. It also scrutinises DWP's public bodies and other regulators. It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.

Find out more on their website:

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference:

Benefits increased in line with inflation following Autumn financial statement

The Government announced on Thursday 17 November that it would increase benefits in line with September inflation by 10.1%. Additionally, UK households receiving means-tested benefits will receive an extra Cost of Living Payment of £900 in 2023-24.

This includes all households receiving the following benefits:

- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit

Read more about the Government's cost of living support, including uprating of benefits
Read the transcript of the Chancellor's statement, and debate by MPs

What is the Autumn Statement?

At the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer updates MPs on the Government's taxation and spending plans, including any changes to taxes and spending policies.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) publishes revised forecasts for the economy and public finances alongside the Autumn Statement. The OBR was established in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK's public finances.

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

MPs agree to increase benefits and tax credits in line with inflation

On Monday 6 February MPs agreed to increase certain benefits and tax credits by 10.1% from April 2023, in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation from October 2021 to September 2022.

The increases to benefits and tax credits are set out in the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2023, which is a 'statutory instrument'.

Why are benefit rates being increased?

The Government must review the rate of certain benefits each year to determine whether they have retained their value in relation to the general level of prices, and increase the level of these by at least the rise in the level of prices.

You can find out more about benefits uprating in this House of Commons Library briefing.

What happens next?

Because this statutory instrument has been introduced under the 'affirmative procedure' it must be actively approved by both Houses of Parliament, so now the House of Lords needs to approve the instrument.

You can follow the progress of the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2023 here.

What is a statutory instrument?

A statutory instrument, also referred to as secondary legislation, is a way for Ministers to create laws without Parliament having to pass a new Act.

They can be used to provide detail that would be too complex to include in the body of an Act. They can also be used to amend or update existing primary legislation.

Power to make statutory instruments are set out in Acts of Parliament.