William Eichler 06 March 2024

Budget: Household Support Fund extended

Budget: Household Support Fund extended  image
Image: Denys Kurbatov / Shutterstock.com.

A scheme aimed at supporting the most vulnerable households will be extended for another six months, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced in the Budget.

The Household Support Fund, which has provided £2.5bn in Government funding for local welfare support over the past two and a half years, was set to end on 31 March.

The scheme will now be extended until September.

‘With the battle against inflation still not over, now is not the time to stop the targeted help it offers,’ he said.

A cross-party open letter published on Monday, coordinated by the Local Government Association (LGA), called on the Chancellor to announce an extension of the fund, which was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Pete Marland, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said the fund provided ‘a vital lifeline for our most vulnerable residents during the rising cost of living’.

Responding to today’s announcement, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) said: 'It is welcome that the Household Support Fund will continue beyond the end of March following heavy lobbying from councils and charities. However, it is disappointing that the scheme will only be extended for 6 months, rather than a full year, meaning that, once again, there will be uncertainty about the future of the fund, as there has been in recent months.'

If this article was of interest, then check out our feature, Chancellor needs to show compassion to most vulnerable.

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