Published On: Thu, Oct 27th, 2022

Rishi Sunak urged to raise DWP benefit payments in line with inflation rate | Personal Finance | Finance


Over 100 organisations are calling on Rishi Sunak to implement a payment increase for Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits. Specifically, the coalition of charities and campaigners are pushing for a payment rate hike to take the palace now instead of in April, when benefits are usually raised. This follows the revelation that September’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation returned to a 40-year high of 10.1 percent.

Unlike most benefit payments, state pensions are usually protected by the triple lock promise.

As a result, pensioners commonly get a payment rise of either 2.5 percent, the rate of average earnings or September’s inflation rate.

If the Government’s triple lock pledge is kept this year, state pension payments will increase in line with inflation and rise by around £200 a week.

However, other benefit payments provided by the DWP do not have similar protections to the triple lock.

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In light of this, over 100 organisations are lobbying Rishi Sunak to stick to the Government’s commitment to help the country’s most vulnerable.

Among the organisations that have signed the open letter are Age UK, Citizens Advice, Save the Children and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Iain Porter, the latter think tank’s senior policy advisor, shared why benefit payments need to be raised by the same rate as inflation.

Mr Porter said: “Families on low incomes desperately need stability and certainty, as they try to afford the essentials, pay their rent, and keep food on the table.

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“Rishi Sunak personally pledged to go ahead with the usual uprating of benefits in line with inflation, and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt promised last week that he would act with compassion and protect the most vulnerable.

“The new Government must show it is as serious about protecting its citizens from harm as it is about calming the markets.

“It can do this by moving quickly to take away a huge source of anxiety for millions and confirming that benefits will be uprated as soon as possible in line with September’s inflation rate of 10.1 percent – a position the public agree with.”

Becca Lyon, the head of Child Poverty for Save the Children UK, outlined why reassurance from the Government is needed as soon as possible.

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Ms Lyon explained: “Politicians shouldn’t break their promises to children growing up in the poorest households, and the inability to commit to raising benefits in line with inflation risks doing just that.

“In his former job as Chancellor, Rishi Sunak was clear that benefits would increase by inflation as normal which gave those on the lowest incomes much needed reassurance to help them through the cost-of-living crisis.

“Families haven’t forgotten this, and they depend on a fair rise in income for stability in frightening times.

“Children will suffer a lower standard of living and drop into poverty if the Prime Minister does not stick to his promise.”

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this week, Rishi Sunak answered questions regarding whether benefit payments will go up by the same rate as inflation.

Mr Sunak said: “I always acted in a way to protect the most vulnerable. That’s because it is the right thing to do and those are the values of our compassionate party.

“I can absolutely reassure him and give him that commitment that we will continue to act like that in the weeks ahead.”



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