The Household Support Fund was set up by the Government in October 2021 in response to the cost of living crisis to allow local authorities to help vulnerable households cover the cost of essential items, like food and energy bills. Despite the cost of living crisis ongoing, the Conservative Government has decided not to renew this funding beyond March 2024.
This is unacceptable. This funding is a vital lifeline to many of my most vulnerable constituents, and families on the poverty line across the country, who are still feeling the impact of soaring inflation, sky high energy bills and unsustainable mortgage costs.
Research from London School of Economics suggests that households have become dependent on the support, and that removing it would put a huge strain on the third sector. As such, today I presented a petition in Parliament urging the Government to renew the Household Support Fund from April 2024.
The Household Support Fund currently allows Manchester City Council to provide free school meals during the holidays to 40,000 vulnerable children and young people, who make up part of the 60,000 residents who are being supported by this fund in Manchester. Through £12.9m of funding for this financial year, Manchester City Council has provided 12,500 vulnerable households and 1,750 hard to reach households with cost of living support payments, income top ups for 400 care leavers, and holiday activities for 6,000 children and young people.
Unlike Labour, Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives cannot be trusted to care for the most vulnerable members of our society. The impact of removing the essential help that the Household Support Fund provides will be devastating for tens of thousands of the most vulnerable people in Manchester. This is why I am petitioning Parliament against this change.
By removing this support, Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt will be complicit in plunging millions into deeper poverty and destitution. I am once again urging them to reconsider.