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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 33442, tabled on 23 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of how many and what proportion of people need support accessing food; and what proportion of these people need support as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

24 April 2020

No such estimate has been made, but this government has been clear we will support people through this unprecedented time.

This Government is delivering free food boxes to many vulnerable people and have ensured supermarkets prioritise them for online delivery or click-and-collect slots. The Shielding Service has been set up to support people identified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and this service has made over 564,234 food deliveries to date.

This Government has taken a number of steps to support people financially during the Covid 19 outbreak. The COVID-19 Bill offers assistance through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-employment Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay. The benefits system has also been made more generous. We have increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £1,000 a year for the next 12 months, benefiting over 4 million of the most vulnerable households, and increased Local Housing Allowance rates, putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets this year.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.