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Cost of living: Work and Pensions Committee publishes Government response to report

8 September 2022

The Work and Pensions Committee has published the Government’s response to its report on the cost of living and the support measures available for people claiming benefits and the state pension.

The report, published in July, called on the Government to put on hold automatic repayments from benefits to help households currently struggling with huge financial pressures during the cost of living crisis.

The Committee also called for the DWP to work to increase the speed with which changes can be made to legacy benefit and state pension rates, with the uprating mechanism for benefits having fallen out of step with spiraling inflation.

The Government response states that pausing deductions would not necessarily be in the best interests of claimants and that there are no plans to change the uprating period.

Chair's comments

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

“The Government’s rejection of our recommendations at a time when so many families are continuing to feel real pain from rising prices is disappointing. While a package of support on energy bills is promised, the appointment of a new Secretary of State presents a fresh opportunity to consider whether a change of approach at the DWP could also offer extra help for people through the benefits system. We look forward to questioning the new Secretary of State in the coming weeks and hope she can use this autumn’s annual statutory review of benefits and state pensions to make the social security system more agile in adapting to turbulent economic times.”

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