Following our report – The Postcode Lottery of Crisis Support – in 2021, this report is an in-depth look at local welfare assistance over the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Following almost 300 responses to FOI requests , our analysis offers a number of key recommendations for both the UK Government and local authorities across the UK. While the Government provided local authorities with welcomed and much needed additional funding in 2020/21, our findings show only a small proportion of this funding was actually spent through LWA schemes.
In light of the growing cost of living crisis, and the economic threat posed by further variants of Covid-19, we are calling on the Government to commit to a three-year funding settlement of £485m per annum. This will provide local authorities with the certainty they need to rebuild their schemes, or open new schemes in those areas where they have closed. We also ask the Government to adequately ringfence all future LWA funding to ensure all such funding is spent via the provision of LWA schemes.