PIP, ESA and most other benefits will increase by just 0.5% in next year’s annual uprating, Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions told MPs today.

Coffey announced that “working-age benefits, benefits to help with additional needs arising from disability, carers’ benefits, pensioner premiums in income-related benefits, Statutory Payments, and Additional State Pension” will increase in line with CPI. This has increased by only 0.5% in the relevant period.

By our calculations, even a claimant on the maximum award of PIP will receive just 76p a week extra.

An ESA support group claimant will get an additional 57p a week, those in the work-related activity group will see their income rise by 37p.

There was also bad news for universal credit claimants. Coffey revealed that no decision has been made as to whether the £20 uplift to universal credit and working tax credit will continue once it has been in place for a year in March 2021. A further announcement is likely in the new year.

There was no indication whatsoever that the DWP is considering an uplift of £20 in legacy benefits to match universal credit, in spite of the continuing campaign for such a measure

Coffey has, however, used her discretionary powers to increase the state pension by 2.5%, stating that:

“The full rate of the new State Pension will now be worth £179.60 per week. The Standard Minimum Guarantee in Pension Credit will also increase by the same cash amount as the basic State Pension, rising by 1.9%.”

The new rates come into effect on 12 April 2021.

With a potential increase in the cost of household goods looming when Brexit arrives, such tiny increases mean a tough year ahead for many claimants

You can read Coffey’s statement in full on the parliament website.


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