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Uprating of Benefits

Volume 721: debated on Monday 31 October 2022

13. What recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues, (b) the devolved Administrations and (c) other relevant stakeholders on uprating benefits in line with inflation. (901922)

I am currently conducting my statutory annual review of state pensions and benefit rates. The outcome of that review will be announced in due course.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. The Trussell Trust is reporting that 40% of universal credit claimants are skipping meals due to budgetary constraints. Does he accept that with the full energy crisis costs yet impacting them and, indeed, with winter still to arrive, it would be perverse if bankers’ bonuses were to be uncapped while pension benefits were not to increase at least in line with inflation?

The hon. Gentleman will be aware of the various answers given from the Dispatch Box about the support that the Government are giving, particularly to those who are most vulnerable, across winter. In respect of food and food banks, that is pertinent. However, I am afraid that he will receive the same answer about when the House will come to know of the uprating that may be applied to pensions and benefits more generally, and the pensions triple lock. That is a decision for me as Secretary of State, of course in conjunction with discussions with the Treasury, and those figures will be available at the time of the autumn statement on 17 November.

I very much welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment that compassion will be at the heart of Government. It is so important that we support the most vulnerable in society. With that in mind, does my right hon. Friend agree that we can show that compassion and support by uprating benefits in line with inflation?