To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the New Economics Foundation of 14 March 2022, that by April 2022, 5.2 million people will be living below the minimum income standard compared to prior to the covid-19 pandemic.
The Government is committed to supporting all groups in society, including those on the lowest incomes. This is why we have put in place a strong welfare safety net that helps people who are facing hardship and are unable to support themselves financially – we are providing £240 billion of support through the welfare system, including £41 billion on Universal Credit and £105 billion through the State Pension.
In the long term, we know that the best strategy to sustainably reduce poverty and increase people’s incomes is to help them into work. That is why the government is investing more than £6 billion in DWP labour market support over the next three years to help people move into, and progress in work. This builds on the success of the Plan for Jobs, with over 2 million fewer people expected to be unemployed than previously thought. In addition to this, we have taken action to make work pay by cutting the Universal Credit taper rate from 63p to 55p, and increasing Universal Credit work allowances by £500 per year, as well as increasing the National Living Wage (NLW) by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour for workers aged 23 and over in April 2022 which will benefit more than 2 million workers.