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Welfare Assistance Schemes: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL5026, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Children's Society Leave No Family Behind: Strengthening local welfare assistance during COVID-19, published in May, in particular in relation to the effectiveness of Local Welfare Assistance Schemes.

Answered on

24 June 2020

The Government has noted the report by the Children’s Society Leave No Family Behind.

Local Authorities were provided with the notional sum of £131.7 million for local welfare assistance in 2020/21. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, significant action has been taken across Government to support those affected by coronavirus, including the most vulnerable. This support includes; income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters. For those most in need we’ve injected more than £6.5 billion into the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 this financial year.

A further £3.2 billion has also been made available to local authorities, through an un-ring-fenced grant, so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package recognises the additional costs and pressures councils are facing as a result of the current emergency.

On June 10 the Prime Minister announced an additional £63 million for local authorities, to help those who are struggling financially due to the impact of COVID-19. Local authorities are working hard to support those who are vulnerable and this additional funding will allow them to quickly step in and provide discretionary financial help, for food and other necessities, to those facing severe hardship.