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Volume 742: debated on Monday 18 December 2023

14. What steps his Department is taking to help reduce the number of people experiencing destitution. (900712)

The Government are, of course, fully committed to protecting the most vulnerable, which is why we rolled out £104 billion in cost of living payments across the period from 2022 to 2025. It is why, as the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex (Mims Davies), has repeatedly stressed, we increased the rates for the LHA housing support, and why benefits increased by the full 6.7%.

It is absolutely heartbreaking that in the world’s sixth-richest country we now have 4 million people living in destitution. We know that disabled people are more likely to live in poverty, yet this winter disabled people will not be getting any additional help with the cost of living after the separate disability cost of living payment was quietly dropped. The cost of living for disabled people is still going up, so will the Secretary of State commit to reinstating the payment, and at a level that meets the extra living costs faced by disabled people?

I am not sure precisely which disability payment the hon. Gentleman is referring to, but certainly the cost of living disability payment has been paid this year, in addition to the increase in the national living wage, tax cuts and national insurance tax cuts, all of which help people, particularly those on low pay. That is why, under this Government, the level of absolutely poverty has fallen by 1.7 million since 2010, with 400,000 fewer children in poverty.