The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 14th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 8 November (HL2809), what support is available to individuals subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) conditions as part of their total cost of living package of £37 billion this year, but excluding the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con): In addition to the Government supporting those in receipt of public fund benefits with cost-of-living payments, the package also includes a range of measures that those with no recourse to public funds could also benefit from, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
This would include an increase to the National Living Wage (NLW) by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour for workers aged 23 and over, from 1 April 2023 for those individuals who have a right to work. In addition, the Government’s commitment to the triple lock will see an increase from April 2023 of 10.1% to their State Pension.
For those who require extra support, the government is providing an additional £1bn to help with the cost of household essentials, for the 2023-24 financial year, on top of what we have already provided since October 2021, bringing total funding for this support to £2.5 billion.
In England this includes an extension to the Household Support Fund backed by £842m, running from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. Guidance and individual Local Authority indicative allocations for this further extension will be announced in due course. Devolved administrations will receive £158 million through the Barnett formula.
Local Authorities can provide a basic safety net support to an individual, regardless of their immigration status, if there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution, for example if:
- there are community care needs
- they have serious health problems
- there is a risk to a child’s wellbeing
Local Authorities must use their judgement to decide what legal powers and funding can be used to support individuals who are ineligible for public funds or statutory housing assistance.