The media reports on DWP plans for more cost of living payments are probably nonsense

UK coins, the Help for Households second cost of living payment 2023 logo and the DWP benefits logo
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Some media outlets are reporting that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it is reviewing whether or not to give claimants more cost of living payments. It comes as the next batch of money is due to drop into some people’s banks from 31 October. However, the reports should not be taken at face value – as the government is in the midst of a clampdown on benefit claimants.

When is the next cost of living payment?

The DWP has been paying some claimants cost of living payments. Overall, it’s giving people £900, split into three payments. It paid the first one in April. People will start getting the second payment of £300 from 31 October. Then, a third payment of £300 will be made in spring 2024. However, the DWP is not giving them to everyone.

Many Universal Credit claimants will get the money. However, if you only claim one of the following benefits, you will not get the cost of living payment:

In April, as the Canary previously calculated, this meant around 1.6 million people on benefits were not entitled to the first cost of living payment. This included many chronically ill and disabled people.

Now, some media is reporting that the DWP is considering more cost of living payments.

Media reports another round of DWP support might be coming

Birmingham Live reported on Monday 9 October:

DWP looking at more cost of living payments as November announcement expected

Read on...

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The Government review will decide whether extra support is needed as householders face a winter of rising costs

It also said:

More cost of living payments could be announced to help hard-pressed households if a Government review decides there is a desperate need for additional support. The Department for Work and Pensions says it is assessing its current package of measures to see whether further cash sums should be rolled out.

netmums ran a similar story on Thursday 12 October. It noted that:

Guy Opperman, Minister for Employment at the DWP, said we should expect an announcement on any future cost of living payments in the Autumn Statement which is being held on 22 November, 2023.

Mr Opperman said: ‘Obviously there is an Autumn Statement in November which would be the clear time for decisions to be telegraphed, if not decisions made.’

However, both these stories should be approached with caution.

A large pinch of salt needed

Birmingham Live and netmums are basing the potential for more cost of living payments on a Westminster Hall parliamentary debate from 4 September. This is where MPs discuss an issue away from the House of Commons. During this debate, minister for disabled people Tom Pursglove said:

There is ongoing work to review the cost of living payments that the Government have made available in the current climate. I anticipate that the results will come forward over the autumn and inform future decisions that we make. We continue to have conversations with the Treasury about the support that we provide.

This in no way means the government will roll out further cost of living payments. In fact, the DWP is already considering cutting people’s benefits in real terms in 2024. Plus, as Disability News Service (DNS) reported, the Conservative Party conference was a platform for ministers to:

ramp up rhetoric that blames disabled people on out-of-work benefits for the country’s economic problems

Given the current government has a clear agenda of targeting benefit claimants, the idea that it will given them another round of cost of living payments is fanciful at best. So, take any news reports of this with a larger-than-average pinch of salt, as it’s unlikely any new support for people already impoverished will be arriving soon.

Feature image via SteveAllenPhoto999 – Envato Elements, UK government – Wikimedia, and UK government – screengrab

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