Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell today welcomed the Government’s announcement of a £500 million winter hardship fund after she asked The Chancellor to set up the scheme.

Caroline met with Rishi Sunak last week at the House of Commons to push for the fund when the uplift in Universal Credit ends next month.

She has expressed concerns the £20 uplift would be taken away without a safety net when she met with The Chancellor.

“I am really pleased The Chancellor has listened to me and to others and put this substantial fund in place to be administered by councils. It will help those who are most vulnerable over the coming months,” said Caroline.

“I would have preferred to see the UC uplift kept but I know the Government always considered it a temporary measure that had already been extended, so I pushed for this support.

“It will make a big difference to those who will need help as the uplift and furlough ends and many families face increased fuel costs.

“Moving forward, I would now like to see reform of Universal Credit taper relief to further help families in Eastbourne and Willingdon. My job now is to use my influence with the Government to press this case over the coming months.

“Further positive news is that there are openings in our local jobs market as we recover from the pandemic and good support from the government via work coaches and paid for training opportunities such as Kickstart.” 

The new Household Support Fund will support millions of households in England and will be distributed by councils from October.

The Government has said it considers local authorities to be best placed to know their local areas best and can directly help those who need it most, including for example, small grants to meet daily needs such as food, clothing, and utilities.