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Budget comment: Work and Pensions Committee Chair Sir Stephen Timms comments on extension of Household Support Fund

6 March 2024

Commenting on today’s announcement of the extension of the Household Support Fund until September, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Rt Hon Sir Stephen Timms MP, said:

“The Household Support Fund has been a lifeline for people struggling to afford essentials during the cost of living crisis. The possibility that it would be withdrawn was causing widespread worry for many families, so today’s announcement that it will be extended until September will come as a welcome, although temporary, relief. It means, for example, that many families entitled to free school meals will get help with childrens’ food costs in the coming Easter holiday.

The Government now needs to make sure that it is properly advertised and communicated so it reaches more of the people who really need it. Our Committee has also called on DWP to clarify guidance to local authorities on its eligibility for people with no recourse to public funds.

There is a very strong case to extend the HSF – not just for six months – but permanently.  That would provide assured funding for councils to deliver local welfare assistance, and allow them to plan how best to support families who most need help.”

Further information

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