Response: Work and Pensions committee inquiry into the cost of living

By: Charlie Berry
Published: July 2022

Shelter's response to the cost of living inquiry

Shelter responds to the Work and Pensions select committee's inquiry into the cost of living.

We welcome the government's additional support for low-income households in 2022, including the cost of living payments to those in receipt of benefits.

However, with rents rising rapidly across the country, the government urgently needs to make housing benefits fit for purpose, so that low-income private renters can spend their additional support on bills and food rather than plugging shortfalls between housing benefit and rent. The local housing allowance must be uprated to at least cover the bottom third of local rents, and re-linked to the real cost of renting in 2022. The benefit cap must also be removed so that 120,000 households do not face a drop of support in 2023.

We also highlight other groups who may miss out on support, including those who pay rent inclusive of bills and those who are in receipt of legacy housing benefit. We urge the government to work with the sector and local government to make sure people don't fall through the cracks.