The Social Market Foundation has welcomed Rishi Sunak’s £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment, which is based on an SMF proposal set out in January.
At the start of the year, SMF Chief Economist, Dr Aveek Bhattacharya published a piece arguing that direct cash transfers were the best way to help households to deal with rising costs. He recommended a £500 payment be made to households on universal credit or legacy benefits.
Bhattacharya made a similar case for cash payments before the Work and Pensions select committee in March. (See notes)
Responding to today’s Government announcement that it will make cash payments of £650 to low-income families, Aveek Bhattacharya, SMF Chief Economist said:
“It is good news that the Chancellor has finally produced a response that reflects the scale of the economic pain poorer households are facing. These cash payments to households with the lowest incomes are the simplest and most effective way for the Government to deliver much-needed help.
“Having wasted months with over-elaborate schemes, it is extremely welcome that he has joined us in recognising that the best way to help struggling families is the most straightforward: give them cash they need to deal with higher prices.
“Months of trepidation and uncertainty could have been avoided had the Government heeded our suggestions and made these announcements at the start of the year, but it is most certainly better late than never.”
- The SMF commentary, A cost-of-living bonus?, can be found at www.smf.co.uk/commentary_podcasts/a-cost-of-living-bonus/.
- Bhattacharya’s evidence-giving to the Work and Pensions Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/9870/pdf/
- For media enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org