Plans to boost economic activity while supporting vulnerable people with the cost of living will be driven through by Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride, as the Government unveiled its Budget for Long Term Growth.

  • Household Support Fund extended with £500 million of support for the most vulnerable households 
  • Equivalent of 200,000 more in employment following welfare reforms and tax cuts to make work pay
  • “Additional Jobcentre Support” to be rolled out to 150 sites alongside unprecedented £104 billion cost of living package

Following the next generation of welfare reforms announced last Autumn – including the flagship £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan – more people will be rewarded for hard work with cuts to National Insurance worth £900 for the average employee this year.

We have already delivered on our plan to halve inflation, which is down to 4% from its peak of 11% thanks to the steps taken by this Government. As inflation continues to fall, millions of families will also benefit from extra support with the cost of living – helping deliver the long-term change our country needs to deliver a brighter future for Britain and improve economic security and opportunity for everyone.

The Household Support Fund – first introduced in October 2021 – will be extended for a fourth time. The extension, backed by £500 million, will support the most vulnerable households. 

Alongside the continued cost of living support, jobseekers will be encouraged to secure long-term financial security through work following the extension of the Additional Jobcentre Support pilot.  

The pilot will be expanded to a further 30 sites – reaching 150 in total – and will deliver intensive support so more people can secure the physical, mental, and financial benefits work brings.    

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said:  

Work is the best way to secure long-term financial security, which is why in this Budget the Government is rewarding hard work with more tax cuts, boosting growth and helping families with the challenges they’re facing.

The long-term decisions announced by the Chancellor will put £900 back in the pockets of 27 million employees this year and support the equivalent of 200,000 people into work, when taken together with the next generation of welfare reforms we’re already rolling out.

This was also a Budget that recognised some people are still struggling and the extension of the Household Support Fund will give vulnerable households the help they need.    

Our plan is building a brighter future for millions of people.

To support households from falling into debt the Government is taking decisive action to ensure claimants retain more of the money they receive from Universal Credit.

Almost one million households on Universal Credit take out budgeting advance loans. These provide families with a vital source of funds to purchase one-off items like fridges and other expensive items. 

To help make these repayments more affordable we will be increasing the repayment period for new loans from 12 months to 24 months. 

The measures announced in the Spring Budget build on the next generation of welfare reforms the Secretary of State ushered in last autumn. The plans offer unprecedented employment and health support to help over a million people, while protecting those in most need from cost of living pressures – including raising pensions and benefits and more help with housing costs.   

While unemployment has been almost halved since 2010, our £2.5 billion Back to Work plan will help thousands of people with disabilities, long-term health conditions and the long-term unemployed, to move into jobs. This comes alongside the Government’s Chance to Work Guarantee, so that claimants on incapacity benefits can try work without fear of losing their benefits.

The extension of the Household Support Fund comes on top of the £104 billion cost of living support package:  

  • Boosting the state pension by 8.5% from April for over 12 million pensioners, an extra £900 next year for a pensioner on the new State Pension 
  • Increasing benefits by 6.7% from April 
  • Increasing the Local Housing Allowance from April, worth an average gain of £800 a year  

The Government has also announced several significant pension fund reforms as part of the Value for Money framework. These will benefit both savers and British business, led by new requirements for Defined Contribution pension funds to publicly disclose their level of investment in the UK.  

The Government will also undertake further analysis and research on the viability of a lifetime provider model, which could move individuals to having just one workplace pension pot across their career.

Additional Information

  1. £500m of additional funding enables the extension of the Household Support Fund, including funding for the Devolved Administrations through the Barnett formula to be spent at their discretion. This means that Local Authorities in England will receive an additional £421m to support those in need locally through the Household Support Fund.

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Published 7 March 2024