Petition Extend cost of living payments to low income households beyond February 2024
I don't think the cost of living crisis is going away anytime soon, however the Government intend to make the final payment in February 2024. I think many low income households are going to be feeling the impact of rising cost of living and will need support throughout the year.
I believe the best course of action for the UK Government is to protect low income households/most vulnerable households and introduce a cost of living package in 24/25.
This response was given on 1 February 2024
The Government has provided £104 billion over 2022-25 to help with the cost of living. We currently have no plans to extend Cost of Living Payments, however we keep all measures under constant review.
Read the response in full
Responding swiftly and decisively to cost of living pressures has been a key priority for Government. The Government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the most vulnerable by providing one of the largest support packages in Europe. Taken together, support to households to help with the high cost of living is worth £104 billion over 2022/23 to 2024/25, which includes, among other support, two rounds of means-tested Cost of Living Payments, Disability Cost of Living Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments over 2022/23 and 2023/24. Targeting support for the most vulnerable and those on the lowest incomes.
Cost of Living Payments enabled us to target immediate further support during the rising cost of living pressures. Delivering lump sum payments provided assistance quickly, reflecting our commitment to giving direct and timely relief to those who need it most.
Reducing inflation and growing the economy are the most effective way, longer term, to build a more prosperous future for all. This Government committed to halving the rate of inflation, and it has achieved that: inflation has fallen from 11.1% in October 2022 to 4.6% in October 2023. Energy prices have significantly fallen in the past year alone and the Q1 2024 price cap of £1,928 has more than halved compared to the previous year when the Q1 2023 price cap peaked at £4,279.
We have also uprated benefits to reflect increased costs. This includes increasing benefits and the state pension by 10.1% in April 2023 in line with inflation. From April 2024, subject to Parliamentary approval, most benefit rates will be increased by 6.7% in line with prices growth, and relevant State Pension and Pension Credit rates will be increased by 8.5% in line with earnings growth. The increase in the Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rates from April will give further help to 1.6 million low-income households.
Between uprating state benefits and the Disability Cost of Living Payments, we are spending around £78.3 billion this year to support disabled people and people with health conditions; this constitutes around 2.9% of Gross Domestic Product.
We will always act to ensure that the most vulnerable get the support they need. The Government currently has no plans to extend Cost of Living Payments, however, we keep all measures under constant review.
An evaluation of the Cost of Living Payments is underway. This seeks to understand their effectiveness as a means of support for low-income and vulnerable households.
We understand that many people are still concerned about the cost of living, which is why we have pulled information on over 40 Government schemes that can help with the cost of living, depending on eligibility, into one central website at: Help for Households - Get government cost of living support (https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/).
Department for Work and Pensions
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Household Support Fund debated by MPs
MPs held a debate on the Household Support Fund on Wednesday 31 January in Westminster Hall. The debate was led by Stephen Timms MP. Jo Churchill MP, Minister for Employment responded to the debate on behalf of the Government.
During the debate, MPs discussed support provided through the Household Support Fund for people who are vulnerable or cannot pay for essentials. At the end of the debate, the Minister stated that the current scheme runs until the end of March, and that no decision on the future of the scheme has been taken.
What is a Westminster Hall debate?
Westminster Hall is the second chamber of the House of Commons. Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local and national issues and receive a response from a government minister. Westminster Hall debates are general debates that do not end in a vote.
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