Written evidence from Melin Homes Ltd CLP0010


1. To what extent have the cost of living support payments been sufficient at helping eligible households meet the cost of essentials such as food and electricity?

The cost of living payments have helped those who are in receipt of welfare passported benefit. We have found that those who are in full time employment are extremely ‘work poor’. It is this area of poverty that has been impacted so dramatically. There is no other help for this section of society.

2. What role have the following factors played in access to the cost of living support payments:

a) Passporting: Not already being in receipt of certain means-tested benefits, despite being eligible, and consequentially being prevented from accessing emergency support;

Those in receipt of passported have a significantly improved access to claiming COL payments.

b) Cliff-edges: Not being in receipt of a certain means-tested benefit, because households failed to meet certain qualifying thresholds.

£19 million in unclaimed welfare benefits should be clear enough to show that those who don’t claim misss out. Many low income households do not claim what they are entitled too. The complexity of the system is a quantifying factor. Separating Ctax support has been catastrophic in this addition, as the passport through housing related costs is often missed by claimants.

c) Qualifying period anomalies: issues relating to the timing of benefit payments;

UC has proven to be an issue for this specific issue, with assessment periods being a concern. Multiple problems in the systems ability to process payment dates, leading to increases in missed payments.

d) Receiving a nil reward on a Universal Credit payment, due to reasons such as sanctioning; or

Sanctions are taking far too long to be reviewed in a mandatory setting.

Tribunals dates are extreme.

Reviews for awards are unmanageable.

e) Any other technicality you believe the Committee should investigate?

The sheer depth of the issues surrounding poverty. Fuel poor households are NOT only those claiming an income related allowance.

An example of this is off grid properties, where the minimum delivery by law is 500 liters at £1 per litres, that is £550 (with vat), before they will even contemplate a delivery. Where on earth did the government get the figure of £200 in the form of a grant award?

The cost of school meals is astronomical, the government needs to ensure all children, no matter what age, have at least one meal a day, free.

Dental costs are totally ridiculous, with many working age people choosing to not attend, due to not being able to afford the most basic health cost.

3. How has the Department’s ad-hoc payment system and its design and use benefitted or limited the delivery of cost of living support?

Many of the grants were awarded by the local authorities, which proved exasperating for the departments of revenues. Awards for EBSS were messy and not at all organised. They also came a year too late.


4. Are there any examples of international best practice in relation to the delivery of emergency cost of living support that the UK can learn from?



May 2023.