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Charity Warns of Catastrophic Impact from Ending Household Support Fund

Barnardo's, a leading charity, has warned that terminating the Household Support Fund, essential for families dealing with the increased cost of living, could have dire consequences, as reported by the BBC.
This warning comes as over 160 councils caution that the absence of the fund could leave many vulnerable families in a precarious situation. Although the government points to rising benefits, the removal of this specific fund remains a concern.

The Asemotas, who benefited from the fund when expecting triplets, face uncertainty with its closure. Israel Asemota laments the loss of support that helped with essentials like food, heat, and infant care products. The couple had managed independently before, but the fund's assistance was vital when they needed it most.

Over the last two and a half years, the £2.5 billion Household Support Fund has been a lifeline, financing projects like food banks and providing direct aid. However, the impending end of the fund in four weeks puts this support at risk unless the government revises its decision in the upcoming budget.

In Liverpool, food banks rely on this fund to help thousands weekly. Without it, organizations fear a setback in assisting households still struggling post-pandemic.

The government asserts that while the fund will lapse by March 2024, households will benefit from other increased forms of support, including a 6.7% rise in benefits and higher Local Housing Allowance starting April.

Critics, like Israel, worry this may not be enough to meet the specific needs that the Household Support Fund has addressed.

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