Social Security Benefits

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Independent, South Cambridgeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of establishing an independent commission to review the value of benefits to ensure they consistently match the cost of living.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Secretary of State has a statutory duty to complete an annual review of benefit and pension rates to determine whether they have retained their value in relation to either prices or earnings.

If there has been an increase in prices or earnings she must increase certain benefits by at least the increase in prices or earnings, using ONS data. For other benefits she may take into account the prevailing economic conditions and other relevant factors.

Whilst organisations external to Government are free to make representations to the Secretary of State, the Department has made no assessment around the introduction of an independent commission to review the value of benefits.

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