"We want to work quickly with government to clarify the details of the funding, including how it will be distributed and any guidance on how it must be used."
Responding to the Department for Work and Pensions’ announcement of the launch of £500 million in support for vulnerable households over winter, Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Councils have demonstrated throughout the pandemic that they are best placed to understand local needs and reach their most vulnerable residents. This funding recognises the vital role of local welfare support and is a positive step to enable councils to continue to provide much-needed support to low income households at risk of poverty and financial hardship throughout the winter.
“We want to work quickly with government to clarify the details of the funding, including how it will be distributed and any guidance on how it must be used.
“The end of the Universal Credit uplift and other COVID-related support could combine with rising fuel and food costs to make this a very challenging winter for many low income households, in particular those with children. The mainstream benefit system will need to provide the principal safety net for them, enabling councils to target additional, discretionary support to those who need it most. It is our view that the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit should be retained for as long as it is needed, to support low-income households to recover from the pandemic and to prevent unsustainable costs falling on councils.
“As we move on from the pandemic, we need to move from crisis support towards improving life chances and building resilience. An effective long-term solution to preventing poverty and disadvantage is needed in the Spending Review. The LGA continues to discuss with government and partners how best to enable councils to provide integrated, preventative support to low-income households, linking financial support and inclusion with key services including housing, employment and health.”