People across Bolton could still be set to be hit by cuts of more than £5million to a “lifeline” fund.

This comes with the government poised to axe the Household Support Fund, which provides around £5.5m to some of Bolton’s poorest people from April this year.

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi has now raised the impending cut in parliament.

She said: “The Household Support Fund is worth £5.5m to Bolton and supports the most vulnerable families with clothing, food and other essentials.

“It is shocking to think of the devastation that will be caused by the Government ripping that money out of our local community.

The Bolton News: Yasmin Qureshi MP raised the issue in parliamentYasmin Qureshi MP raised the issue in parliament (Image: Office of Yasmin Qureshi MP)

“I urged the minister to give clarity without any further delay.”

Ms Qureshi had been speaking at a Westminster Hall debate earlier in February about the effects slashing the Household Support Fund was likely to have all over the country.

The scheme was first started two years ago with the aim of helping people most in need cope with rising food and energy costs.

But chancellor Jeremy Hunt made no reference to the fund in his most recent Autumn statement and the scheme is now expected to come to an end of April 1.

In December last year Bolton Council leader Nick Peel, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor Kate Green all appealed to Mr Hunt to keep the fund going.

In a letter sent to the chancellor they, and other local authority leaders in the city region, argued that they were in no position to “plug the gap” if the fund was axed.

But in response to the impending cuts, Cllr Peel told Bolton Council this January that he was now minded to recommend that other proposed welfare cuts not take place.

He said that this was to help blunt the impact of losing the £5.5m Household Support Fund and that a contingency budget of £600,000 had been left in place by the council for this purpose.

At national level the Department for Work and Pensions, which runs the Household Support Fund, has previously said that its response to the cost-of-living crisis is still “under review.”

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A spokesperson said: "We have invested over £2 billion into the fund over the last two years with almost £800 million already paid to families with children to help with the cost of living.

“The fund is available up until March 2024 and it comes on top of a record cost of living support package.

"This includes increasing benefits, increasing State Pension and increasing Local Housing Allowance to help renters on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit save £800 on housing costs.

“We have halved inflation to help everyone's money go further and cut taxes for hardworking people at the Autumn Statement.”