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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Government's announcement of 20 March 2020 that the rate of universal credit standard allowance will be increased in response to the covid-19 outbreak, whether the Government plans to increase the rate of jobseeker's allowance.
There are no current plans to increase the amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance due to COVID19. Of course these benefits were increased by 1.7% from 6 April, following the Government announcement to end the benefits freeze in November 2019.
DWP and HMRC are experiencing significant increased demand and the Government has to prioritise the safety and stability of the benefits system overall, announcing measures that can be quickly and effectively operationalised.
Taken together, DWP’s measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system and, along with the other job and business support programmes announced by the Chancellor, represent one of the most comprehensive packages of support introduced by an advanced economy in response to COVID19.