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Cost of Living

Volume 711: debated on Monday 21 March 2022

18. What steps her Department is taking to support people with the increase in the cost of living. (906186)

The Government are providing support worth over £21 billion across this financial year and the next to help families with the cost of living. Through the Department for Work and Pensions, that includes cutting the universal credit taper rate and increasing work allowances.

Most benefits and the state pension will rise by just 3% in April, but inflation could be over 8%, so that is a real-terms cut of 5% for people who are already having to choose between eating and heating. Given that, how on earth does the Secretary of State think it acceptable to target the incomes of the poorest in our society like this? Will she commit today to action so that nobody’s benefits are cut during the deepest cost of living crisis in decades?

The Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (David Rutley), has set out the inflation index that has been used consistently since 1987 in consideration of the inflation rate. I am very conscious that the House voted for the uprating order recently—apart from the hon. Gentleman, along with a handful of others. If his vote had been successful, benefits would not have risen at all.