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Social Security Benefits

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 292317, tabled on 30 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of establishing an independent commission to review the value of benefits to ensure they consistently match the cost of living.

Answered on

7 October 2019

The Secretary of State has a statutory duty to complete an annual review of benefit and pension rates to determine whether they have retained their value in relation to either prices or earnings.

If there has been an increase in prices or earnings she must increase certain benefits by at least the increase in prices or earnings, using ONS data. For other benefits she may take into account the prevailing economic conditions and other relevant factors.

Whilst organisations external to Government are free to make representations to the Secretary of State, the Department has made no assessment around the introduction of an independent commission to review the value of benefits.