MP DISGRACED BY GOVERNMENT’S AGEIST OVERSIGHT IN £650 COST OF LIVING PAYMENT
Today, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has denounced the government's oversight in not including 'housing benefit' as an eligible means tested benefit, for the newly announced £650 cost-of-living payment from the government. This neglectful move prevents some of those most vulnerable to the cost-of-living crisis - for example, individuals of state pension age - from applying for the payment.
Previously, the government had stated that means tested benefits would be included as a qualification for the new payment in their 'Cost of living support factsheet' released on May 26th. However, in their updated guidance on June 1st Housing Benefit was excluded.
The housing crisis is an issue that is hitting South Lakes constituents especially hard as a result of the high rate of second home ownership in the area, with many people of all ages now claiming housing support. Most who are of working age needing support will claim the 'Housing Costs Element' through a Universal Credit Claim and do qualify for the cost-of-living payment. Yet, elderly people who receive a state pension may also receive housing benefit (as a separate benefit) which has been excluded as a qualification for the £650 payment. Age is the most common determinant of what kind of housing assistance an individual will receive and, therefore, whether they may claim the £650.
Speaking today Tim said: "This is another astounding oversight from the government.
"I know of so many elderly constituents who now must claim housing benefit to meet the incredibly high rates of rent in my constituency as a result of the housing crisis.
"However, they are once again being left out in the cold by a blunder from the Conservative government.
"Whilst I welcome any financial proposals to help with the cost-of-living crisis, it is highly alarming that the government seem to be penalising some of the most vulnerable on the basis of their age."
Since this matter was brought to the attention Tim has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and is awaiting a response to his concerns.