To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he is taking to support people on low-incomes in (a) Stoke-on-Trent and (b) Staffordshire during the covid-19 outbreak.
The Government is seeking to protect, as far as possible, people’s jobs and incomes through the pandemic. This is being undertaken through a long-term, sustainable approach that focuses on employment, while ensuring everyone is supported by the welfare system in their time of need.
In response to the pandemic, the Government has announced an unprecedented package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and a package of welfare measures which the Office of Budget Responsibility estimates to be worth over £9 billion, helping to protect incomes, jobs, and support those most in need. This package of temporary welfare measures includes a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance, and an increase in Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of market rents. In addition, to continue to protect jobs over the winter months, from November businesses facing lower demand due to COVID-19 will be able to apply to the Job Support Scheme.
In its Plan for Jobs, the Government has announced unprecedented support to help unemployed people find a job. The support is available across Great Britain and includes measures that will be delivered at a local level through DWP’s extensive network of over 600 Job Centre Plus branches.
On top of these measures, the Government has introduced a new package to support those in self-isolation. People required to self-isolate who are on a low income, who cannot work from home, and have lost income as a result, will be eligible for a payment of £500.