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Rising cost of living: Work and Pensions Committee writes to Prime Minister and launches call for ideas on strengthening support from benefits system

20 May 2022

The Work and Pensions Committee has pressed the Prime Minister on his pledge to consider raising the level of Universal Credit and other benefits to help people cope with the rapidly rising cost of living, with MPs also inviting submissions on how the Government could offer additional support.

The letter to Boris Johnson and today’s call for evidence are part of the Committee’s continuing work looking at the impact of rising food and energy costs on people on the lowest incomes.

Chair's comments

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“With prices now rising at the fastest rate for 40 years, prospects for people on the lowest incomes appear ever bleaker and the need to act to help them ever more urgent. The Prime Minister indicated at the Liaison Committee in March that he would examine the idea of uprating benefits before April 2023. He now needs to come forward and say exactly what his Government is considering to relieve the immense pressure faced by so many families. There is no time to lose.

The Committee has heard of the huge challenges faced by people battling rising living costs on very low incomes. We are now keen to hear policy ideas on how the benefits system can be adapted to support them and will be pressing the Secretary of State on the issue when she appears before us next month.”

Ahead of the session with Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey on Wednesday 22 June, the Committee is inviting submissions on:

  • What approach should the Government take to the uprating of benefits and state pensions in 2022/23 and 2023/4 given the rising costs of living?
  • Is there a way in which the Government can increase support for people on legacy benefits and state pensions ahead of the next scheduled benefit uprating in Spring 2023?
  • What changes should DWP make to their deductions policies and practices to protect those on Universal Credit and legacy benefits from reduced incomes?
  • How can the Government act to increase Pension Credit take up to help pensioners with rising living costs?

The deadline for submissions is Friday 17 June.

Further information

Image: PA