On 6th July the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, received a written answer to a question from Baroness Stedman-Scott on social security benefits for children.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL5845 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Save the Children to increase the child component of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits by £20 a week, following their research showing that 7 in 10 families with children in receipt of Universal Credit are cutting back on essentials as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baroness Stedman-Scott: This Government has introduced an unprecedented package of welfare support of over £6.5 billion to help families cope with the financial impact of COVID-19. This has included increases to
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit worth up to £1,040 this financial year. In addition, we have increased Local Housing Allowance, lifting rates to the 30th percentile in the Private Rented Sector, putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets.
Local Authorities in England will now be able to use the £500 million Hardship Fund announced at the Spring Budget, to help working people on Local Council Tax Support to provide additional help to vulnerable people locally through arrangements such as Local Welfare Schemes. On 10 June, it was announced that we are now providing £63 million in additional funding to local authorities in England to help people who find themselves in severe financial difficulties, through local welfare assistance programmes.