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Food: Prices

Volume 477: debated on Monday 16 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects of changes in the price of food on benefit claimants; what consideration he has given to increasing benefit levels outside the annual uprating; and if he will make a statement. (205027)

There is a statutory requirement to review all social security benefits each year and to increase certain benefits from April of the following year.

The new rates are calculated for most benefits using the increase in the retail prices index for the 12 months ending in the preceding September. This measure is based on a year-on-year comparison of prices. Therefore any fluctuations in food prices will be taken into account in the benefit increases that will take effect from April 2009.