21 September 2023
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Elaine Millar, has published proposals for an 8.6% increase
in income support benefits from January next year. This increase reflects the Government’s
continuing focus on cost of living and supporting those Islanders who need it the most.
Income support is a weekly benefit available to low-income families and is made up of a range of
components to reflect the size and needs of each household. Components for adults and children,
household expenses, private rental costs, personal care, mobility, childcare and carers will all be
increased by 8.6% from 1 January 2024, subject to approval by the States Assembly. Income
support tenants appropriately occupying social housing are automatically supported with the full
cost of their rent.
Following the introduction of the Health Access Scheme, all adults and children in income-support
households can access general practice (GP) services at heavily subsidised rates. An adult surgery
consultation with a GP is fixed at £12, with no additional fee for blood tests, letters of referral and
similar services. This fee has not increased since the scheme was introduced in 2020. Given the
support now available through the Health Access Scheme, the clinical cost component – which was
designed to help with the full cost of GP visits, is being maintained at its current rate.
Deputy Elaine Millar said: “I am really pleased to be putting forward this comprehensive package of
income support increases, which will enhance the support provided to low-income families. The
‘low income RPI’ figure peaked at 8.6% in March 2023 and reduced to 6.4% in June, with the
downward trend set to continue. Providing an increase based on the highest point of recent low
income RPI values will make sure that income-support households are protected over the coming
The annual cost of the increased components is estimated at £7.9m, with the budget provided for
in the 2024 Government plan