To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the number of recipients of (a) means tested benefits, (b) Pension Credit and (c) other means tested payments administered by her Department whose savings or capital may breach a relevant savings or capital limit due to economic disruption during the covid-19 outbreak.
23 March 2021
No such assessment has been made.
There have been no steps to change the savings threshold limits, which allow people to continue to receive means tested benefits even though they may have an increased amount of capital, by gradually reducing the level of their entitlement.
The capital thresholds strike a balance between protecting less well-off people and the taxpayer, whilst at the same time recognising the conscientious efforts of people who have built up capital. This limit also ensures that the help which comes from taxpayers, many of whom are themselves on low incomes and have limited capital, is directed to people who need it most. Whilst it is important to encourage saving, it has never been thought right for substantial amounts of capital to be ignored, therefore it is also reasonable that there should be a capital limit above which benefits are not available.