Rates of ESA and other ‘legacy benefits’ must be raised to provide help for those not yet moved to Universal Credit (UC) and who are struggling to meet the extra inescapable costs imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs said today.
While the Government has raised the rates of standard UC and basic Working Tax Credit by £20 a week for 12 months, people on benefits yet to be replaced by UC, including JSA, ESA and Child Tax Credit, have not been similarly helped, with the DWP blaming computer difficulties for the disparity.
In a new report, the MPs find that the pandemic has left huge numbers of people struggling to cover the costs of essentials, with some disabled people in particular hit hard by increased costs of care and rising food prices.
The Committee cite evidence that coronavirus has increased living costs for disabled people. For example, a survey of 224 disabled people in April, the Disability Benefits Consortium reported that 95% of people surveyed had experienced a rise in costs for food, utilities and managing their
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