Employment and Support Allowance: Cost of Living

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what basis her Department made the decision to exclude people in the support group for new style Employment and Support Allowance from the £650 cost of living payment.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Government is committed to managing the public finances in a responsible way bytargeting the £650 Cost of Living Payment support at the 8 million low income means-tested households where it is most needed. Contributory based Employment and Support Allowance is not a means-tested benefit.

In addition to the means-tested Cost of Living Payment, 6 million disabled people who receive an eligible non-means tested disability benefits, including Personal Independence Payments, will receive a one-off disability Cost of Living Payment of £150.

These payments are part of the government’s £15bn package of support and sits alongside

  • the £400 of support for energy bills that the Government is providing through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme, doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year and making the whole £400 a non-repayable grant.
  • an increased Winter Fuel Payment
  • the extension of the Household Support Fund with an additional £500 million to support households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion, and
  • new support, people on low incomes but not means-tested benefits may also benefit from previously announced measures to help people tackle the cost of living, including frozen alcohol duty and fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, council tax rebates and the further rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.

The guidance with the full list of support can be found at:

Overall government support for the cost of living: factsheet - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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