DWP lets slip shocking fact about cost of living payment


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made a damning admission about the cost of living payments – revealing a new statistic about who is entitled to them.

DWP cost of living payments

As The Canary has been reporting, the DWP has been rolling out cost of living payments since 14 July. It is giving eligible claimants a payment of “£650 paid in two lump sums of £326 and £324“. The DWP began paying around eight million people the first sum from 14 July. It said on Thursday 21 July it had made around 7.2m payments already.

Now, in the DWP’s update on 21 July it revealed that:

around 23% of families in the UK will be eligible for the first lump sum of the means-tested benefit Cost of Living payment.

This figure is significant because it is much higher than the government’s estimates on the number of people in poverty. The most recent official government figures for 2020/21 say that:

Around one in six people in the UK are in relative low income before housing costs (BHC), rising to around one in five once we account for housing costs (AHC).

In other words, the headline poverty rate with housing costs is 20%. So, the DWP is effectively saying that 23% of households are so poor that they need emergency help – far higher than the official poverty rate.

Countless people missing out

Then, as The Canary previously revealed, the DWP will give some claimants nothing.

First, it won’t be giving cost of living payments to 1.5 million social security claimants. These include:

  • 433,000 Housing Benefit claimants
  • 523,000 Carer’s Allowance claimants
  • 568,000 PIP/DLA claimants

Then, it may not be paying it to around 800,000 Universal Credit claimants too. Also, The Canary could not calculate how many Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants wouldn’t get cost of living payments.

DWP: admitting people are screwed

It shames the government that this money is needed to stop people either falling further into poverty, or into poverty in the first place, all because our economy is so broken. But it also shows the disaster that is unfolding for the poorest people. When one in four families in the UK need government help to survive, the situation is catastrophic.

Featured image via VideoBlogg Productions – The Canary and Wikimedia 

By Steve Topple

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