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Household Support Fund Allocation

Volume 715: debated on Monday 6 June 2022

22. What recent progress her Department has made on allocating the household support fund to local authorities. (900295)

Local authorities in England have already received their allocations for the household support fund for April to September, and those have been published online. The Government recently announced a further £421 million increase for the household support fund, extending it from October to March 2023. Devolved Administrations will also receive a further £79 million to help households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion across the United Kingdom.

Devon has been allocated a further £5 million to help households in the county with the cost of living crisis. What has the Secretary of State done to ensure that that money is directed at the right places in Devon to make sure that the support really helps?

Local authorities, with their local ties and knowledge, are best placed to identify those most in need. To assist local authorities with identifying those who may be in need of additional discretionary support, the DWP has introduced data shares with local authorities, which enables them to proactively identify individuals in need, as well as the supporting guidance for the scheme.

The Government were able to switch on, and then switch off, the £20 universal credit uplift quite easily and efficiently. What conversations did the Minister have with Treasury colleagues about doing the same again for those on universal credit in the latest package of measures, rather than imposing another bureaucratic headache on already overstretched councils?

We have important guidance in place to support local authorities, but they are best placed to provide support for people in their individual localities. That is why the household support fund has been designed with that in mind.