At the time of writing we still don’t know whether benefits are going to be uprated in line with inflation or only in line with wages in Monday’s ‘fiscal event’ statement.
We do know what Rishi Sunak said about benefits uprating when he was chancellor of the exchequer. In his statement on cost of living support, delivered on 26 May 2022, Sunak said
“And I can reassure the House that next year, subject to the Secretary of State’s review, benefits will be uprated by this September’s CPI…
…which, on current forecasts, is likely to be significantly higher than the forecast inflation rate for next year.”
However, that reassurance was issued before his own party crashed the economy with Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget and before Sunak became prime minister. Whether he will still honour it now remains to be seen.
Sunak’s record on welfare benefits, in common with most conservative MPs has been a long string of votes in favour of reducing welfare benefits.
According to TheyWorkForYou Sunak voted in favour of reducing spending on welfare benefits 24 times and against only once.
He also voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability on 8 occasions and has never voted in favour.
So, in general this is unlikely to be a prime minister who will be keen to see benefits for those unable to work boosted.
But there is still every reason to hope that, at least in terms of April 2023’s uprating, he will keep his word and increase benefits by September’s CPI rate of 10.1%, rather than wage growth of around 5.4%.