politics

Rishi Sunak unveils £500m Household Support Fund amid cost-of-living crisis



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ishi Sunak has unveiled a £500 million Household Support Fund to help millions of families get through a feared winter squeeze on their budgets.

The money will go to town halls in October to distribute to households hard hit by rising energy bills, the end of furlough today, and the scrapping of the £20 uplift in Universal Credit in coming days.

It could be used for small grants to meet daily needs of struggling families such as food, clothing, and energy bills.

The Chancellor said: “Everyone should be able to afford the essentials, and we are committed to ensuring that is the case.

“Our new Household Support Fund will provide a lifeline for those at risk of struggling to keep up with their bills over the winter, adding to the support the Government is already providing to help people with the cost of living.”

However, the new fund is far less than the £6 billion rise in Universal Credit which is now being withdrawn.

Millions of households will also see their energy bills increase in coming months.

As the furlough scheme ended today, ministers are stressing there are job “opportunities”, with more than a million vacancies.

Treasury minister Simon Clarke told Sky News that the country was now out of the “teeth” of the pandemic.

However, workers in some sectors, including aviation, could be particularly affected by the ending of furlough.

Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “Over the last year, we have helped millions of people provide for their families. Many are now back on their feet but we know that some may still need further support. Our targeted Household Support Fund is here to help those vulnerable households with essential costs as we push through the last stages of our recovery from the pandemic.”



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