The LGA responds to a report by the Commons Work and Pensions Committee about the future of cost of living payments and the Household Support Fund.
Responding to a report by the Commons Work and Pensions Committee about the future of cost of living payments and the Household Support Fund, Cllr Pete Marland, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Councils use the Household Support Fund as part of a vital local safety net for many vulnerable and low-income residents, ranging from cash payments, in-kind support such as furniture and white goods, to direct support such as food and energy vouchers. This is alongside advice and referrals to other services to help with household finances, health, housing and welfare.
“As this report recommends, this funding should be maintained next year alongside any continuation of cost of living payments. This will ensure that councils can provide tailored local support to people who fall outside of national criteria, for help with meeting their essential living costs.
“The Government should use the upcoming Autumn Statement to make local welfare funding permanent, retaining flexibility to ensure it helps those in greatest need. This would mean councils could retain local services and expertise to support more vulnerable households and allow a shift in focus, from short-term crisis support to long-term investment in prevention.”