The DWP just revealed when it will next review benefit rates

A ripped brown envelope and the DWP logo
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced when it will next review benefit levels. It will be deciding on the increase for claimants that will take affect in April 2023. But, the date it has set is not soon enough. And, moreover, the DWP could do something now if it wanted.

DWP annual benefits review

The DWP revealed the time of the review in response to a question. Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain asked the department:

what factors her [Coffey’s] Department will take into account when it next makes an assessment of the potential merits uprating of benefits; and whether the energy price cap will be taken into account when making that assessment.

DWP minister David Rutley said that his boss Thérèse Coffey:

is required to undertake an annual statutory review of benefits and pensions. She uses the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) in the year to September to measure inflation and average weekly earnings for the period May to July to measure earnings. The Office for National Statistics publish these figures in October.

[She] must increase certain benefits by at least the increase in prices or earnings. If she considers it appropriate, having regard to the national economic situation and any other matters which she considers relevant, she may increase others by such a percentage(s) as she thinks fit.

Her review will commence in the autumn and her decisions will be announced to Parliament in November in the normal way.

Read on...

So, what does this mean in reality for social security claimants?

Chaos for DWP claimants

On the face of it, if Coffey is basing her November decision on September’s inflation, then the increase in social security rates may be larger than usual. This is because the Bank of England says inflation will continue to rise this year. It may even hit 10%. However, while this may seem like an improvement for social security claimants, this is not actually the case.

Think tank the Resolution Foundation previously said that the poorest people would see falls in income in the majority of years until 2026/27. As The Canary previously reported, with an 8.3% inflation rate April’s social security increases were going to mean a real-terms cut to people’s money. This would have taken rates to their lowest level since the mid-1980s. Now, with inflation actually standing at 9.4%, the situation for millions of people will be even worse.

In practice, even a 10% rise in social security rates in 2023 would barely make up for the real-terms cut in 2022. On top of this, the DWP has made claimants suffer years of benefit freezes. So, Coffey merely following procedure would still leave claimants in a disastrous situation.

Failing to act

Of course, the DWP can do what it wants with social security rates. As The Canary previously reported, Coffey could change the controversial benefit cap whenever she wanted. Moreover, as we saw with the £20 Universal Credit uplift during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Coffey can do the same for all social security – but she chooses not to.

The poorest people are already in a dire position. The DWP saying that it will review social security rates in November will not improve things. Only a realistic assessment of the situation followed by an immediate increase in the rate will avoid further disaster.

Featured image via The Canary and Wikimedia

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  • Show Comments
    1. The DWP just revealed when it will next review benefit rates
      Firstly, the only review needed is to SCRAP the TORY SCAM-U-CREDIT, That has
      Been proven not to work voter or claimant that use it fully now in low paid jobs.

      The review could be done in a new mini budget held by the new leader of Tory party
      Picked by Tory members After the Holidays are over Tory party members.

      Tort party member need to understand they voter for this useless SCAM -U-Credit benefit
      Their party rich members put together not understanding benefits are all means tested and every person or family’s needs are different in their home this is also keeping low paid worker in poverty now, So this SCAM-U-Credit need getting shutoff now Tories.

      Labour next G.E. how about promising to get shut of Tory SCAM -U-Credit altogether
      As part of your party Manifesto election contract with voter? Or Tory you could do the same thing voter would vote for a party willing to get shut of a benefit problem that is costing people their lives and putting millions of low paid working family into mass poverty now Just remember all party members Tories +Labour alike the High cost of living plus High cost of energy bills will still be around next G.E. TIME making voter lives hell that the Tory party have inflicted on us all but do-nothing only fight wars in other country and waste our public taxpayer money we will never get back from Ukraine. Tory members Brexit was to look after us British voter first this has gone down the toilet has well now with Tory party M.P. Minister under lying Boris ruling will it go down toilet faster under your new leader you Tories pick not us public voters yes or no? (ONLY until next G.E. that is Tories)

      1. I have no idea why you are calling on the Labour party (“a party of business” committed to “cutting red tape” according to its elected leader) to help benefits recipients who are seen by the party as politically poisonous. If there were a general election and Labour won by a landslide, it would be as President Biden promised the USA’s ruling class: nothing would fundamentally change. Britain needs a socialist revolution right now. Are you in for it?

    2. What about state pensions? I only get £137pw as I missed contributions when I sold my first house and couldn’t face the indignities the jobcentre put you through signing on – didn’t realise I’d also lose my NW stamp – so I’ve actually been penalised for saving the government money. But the full state pension doesn’t even match the living wage. I had a personal pension through being self-employed, but that’s gone now.

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