Welfare Assistance Schemes

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 15 February 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government how many English local authorities do not run a local welfare assistance scheme, and what assessment they have made of the impact on low-income residents in these local authority areas if the household support fund is not extended beyond this April.

Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Local Authorities in England have the flexibility and power to use the funding they receive from the annual Local Government Finance Settlement. We do not have robust data on the number of Local Authorities providing a local welfare scheme.

The Government is putting significant additional support in place for those on the lowest incomes from April. Subject to Parliamentary approval, working age benefits will rise by 6.7% while the Basic and New State Pensions will be uprated by 8.5% in line with earnings, as part of the ‘triple lock”.

To further support low-income households with increasing rent costs, the government will raise Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents, benefitting 1.6m low-income households by on average £800 a year in 24/25. Additionally, the Government will increase the National Living Wage for workers aged 21 years and over by 9.8% to £11.44 representing an increase of over £1,800 to the gross annual earnings of a full-time worker on the National Living Wage.

The current Household Support Fund runs until the end of March 2024, and the government continues to keep all its existing programmes under review in the usual way.

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