During challenging economic times, we are pleased that the Chancellor has offered some relief to those on the lowest incomes in his Autumn Statement.
- Working age benefits including Universal Credit and disability benefits will increase by 6.7% in April 2024 in line with the September inflation rate.
- The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate freeze will end, and LHA will return to levels which cover the bottom 30% of rents.
- The state pension will rise by 8.5%.
While these measures will ease some of the pressures pushing people into poverty, much more needs to be done to support people on the lowest incomes.
We are also concerned that welfare recipients who do not get a job within 18 months will be forced to take on work experience and will face punitive sanctions if they do not comply. As cost of living hits people relying on social security hardest, punitive sanctions – rather than support – will only push people who are struggling even further into hardship.