The brand new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DWP) Mel Stride, who was appointed by Prime Minister Riishi Sunak final week, confronted his first spherical of questions within the Home of Commons on Monday. Mr Stride changed Chloe Smith who was given the function by former prime minister Liz Truss. Mr Stride responded to numerous queries on the state pension annual uprating, price of residing assist funds, Pension Credit score take-up and advantages.
He reiterated info already out there to the general public and acknowledged a number of instances how a call on the state pension and advantages rising with inflation won’t be introduced earlier than the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, delivers his Autumn Assertion to Parliament.
One query from the Labor Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Jonathan Ashworth struck a twine with claimants of incapacity advantages
The query centered round making advantages corresponding to Private Independence Fee (PIP), Incapacity Dwelling Allowance for Kids, Attendance Allowance and even Carer’s Allowance means-tested.
Mr Ashworth stated: “Can he give a categorical assurance that, within the Autumn Assertion, he’ll rule out means-testing Private Independence Funds, Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Incapacity Dwelling Allowance for Kids?
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“The Prime Minister tells us that we don’t want a normal election as a result of the 2019 manifesto provides him and the Conservative get together a mandate.
“Provided that manifesto dedicated to the triple lock, why can he not give pensioners the reassurance that they deserve?”
Mr Stride did not supply a direct response to the statements but in addition didn’t rule out that the advantages may change into means-tested,
He replied: “The suitable honorable Gentleman is inviting me, in a complete host of areas, to interrupt with what has been a really long-standing and fairly appropriate conference that Ministers merely don’t present a working commentary about what could or might not be in a serious fiscal occasion.
“Nonetheless, he has my private assurance that when and as it’s applicable to cross him info of that sort, he would be the first to know.”
Prime Minister and the Chancellor introduced final week that the fiscal assertion, which was going to happen on October 31 beneath Truss’ Authorities, was now scheduled to happen on November 17.
It was additionally introduced that the monetary assertion will now be a full Autumn Assertion.
It has been reported that Mr Hunt is trying to fill the black gap of as much as £50billion in public funds.
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That is anticipated to be executed by means of a mix of fifty % tax rises and 50 % public-spending cuts.
At the moment, Britons can declare as much as £627 in Private Independence Fee (PIP) or £369 in Attendance Allowance every month.
As these advantages should not means-tested, individuals can declare whether or not they’re working and it doesn’t matter how a lot they’ve of their financial savings.
In response to the rumours, the Advantages Work and Guides web site launched a press release saying: “Advantages and Work have began receiving emails from readers involved that incapacity advantages together with PIP, DLA and AA are about to be means-tested.
“Though there have been rumors about this for a number of weeks, the problem gained additional prominence resulting from a query put by shadow DWP secretary of state Jonathan Ashworth to the present DWP secretary of state, Mel Stride on Monday.
“In actuality that ‘long-standing’ conference was damaged as not too long ago as 19 October when Liz Truss informed the Home at PMQs that the triple lock for pensioners can be maintained.
“Nonetheless, in the identical response on Monday, Stride additionally refused to verify that the triple lock remained secure beneath Sunak.
“So, in the mean time, Advantages and Work can supply no reassurance to readers about what the present administration will or will not do on 17 November. All we are able to counsel is that individuals do not assume the worst and as an alternative await concrete info.”