To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the cumulative impact on the living standards of households in receipt of universal credit of (a) not up-rating benefits in line with inflation, (b) the removal of the temporary £20 uplift to universal credit and (c) rising living costs.
25 February 2022
No assessment of the cumulative impact of these measures has been made.
The Government is uprating Universal Credit in line with inflation. The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions with reference to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September. The relevant benefits are increasing by 3.1% from April.
The Government is providing £12 billion of support to ease cost of living pressures, with help targeted at working families, low-income households and the most vulnerable. A further £9 billion has been announced to protect against the impact of rising global energy prices.
Since 2010, the Government has regularly published cumulative analysis of the impacts of its tax, welfare and public spending policies on households. The most recent assessment was published at Budget 2021. It showed that, in 2021/22, the poorest 60% of households will receive more in public spending than they contribute in tax. And households in the lowest income decile will receive more than £4 in public spending for every £1 they pay in tax on average.