Household Support Fund

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Barnardo's report No crib for a bed: a closer look at bed poverty and the Household Support Fund crisis, published on 5 February.

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

The report looks at a broad range of policy areas and, while we have made no specific assessment of the report itself, my Department continues to monitor the impact of its policies.

The Government is committed to reducing poverty, including child poverty, and supporting low-income families. We will spend around £276bn through the welfare system in Great Britain in 2023/24 including around £124bn on people of working age and children.

Our approach to tackling poverty is based on clear evidence that parental employment, particularly where its full time, reduces the risk of poverty. In the financial year 2021 to 2022, children living in households where all adults work were around 5 times less likely to be in absolute poverty after housing costs than those living in workless households.

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 from April 2023 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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