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Extending Covid-19 Local Support Measures

Volume 697: debated on Tuesday 22 June 2021

Throughout the covid-19 pandemic, this Government have provided an unprecedented package of support for individuals, families, communities and businesses who need financial help at this critical time.

The Covid-19 Local Support Grant—previously known as the Covid-19 Winter Grant Scheme—has enabled local authorities in England to support families across the country who are struggling with the cost of food and utility bills as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme has run from 1 December, with a total investment of over £269 million so far. Between 1 December and 16 April, local authorities had made almost 6.3 million awards under the scheme.

The Covid-19 Local Support Grant arrangements will be extended for a final time, with a further investment of £160 million, to cover the period up to 30 September. This temporary support is being extended beyond the planned ending of restrictions, to help families get back on their feet as the economy recovers and the vaccine rollout continues. Well-paid work is the best route out of poverty and that is why we have a plan for jobs.

The Covid-19 Local Support Grant is in addition to the £220 million Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has been scaled up to cover the whole of England across the major school holidays in 2021—including this summer. The HAF will provide disadvantaged children across the country with healthy meals and enriching activities.