Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th April 2020.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of how many and what proportion of people need support accessing food; and what proportion of these people need support as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Holding answer received on 21 April 2020

No such estimate has been made, but this government has been clear we will support people through this unprecedented time.

This Government is delivering free food boxes to many vulnerable people and have ensured supermarkets prioritise them for online delivery or click-and-collect slots. The Shielding Service has been set up to support people identified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and this service has made over 564,234 food deliveries to date.

This Government has taken a number of steps to support people financially during the Covid 19 outbreak. The COVID-19 Bill offers assistance through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-employment Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay. The benefits system has also been made more generous. We have increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £1,000 a year for the next 12 months, benefiting over 4 million of the most vulnerable households, and increased Local Housing Allowance rates, putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets this year.

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