Universal Credit claimants will receive an extra £470 a year on average from April, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced.

Speaking to MPs at his autumn statement, Mr Hunt confirmed the Government would increase Universal Credit and other benefits by 6.7 per cent.

The rise, in line with September's inflation figures, will come into force from April next year, and will be worth an "average increase of £470 for 5.5 million households", the Chancellor said.

On private rents, Mr Hunt said he had heard representations on the need to unfreeze local housing allowance.

He said: “I will therefore increase the local housing allowance rate to the 30th percentile of local market rents. This will give 1.6 million households an average of £800 of support next year.”

On alcohol duty, Mr Hunt added: “As well as confirming our Brexit Pubs Guarantee, which means duty on a pint is always lower than in the shops, I have decided to freeze all alcohol duty until August 1st next year.

“That means no increase in duty on beer, cider, wine or spirits.”

Earlier in the day, Jeremy Hunt said he hoped the autumn statement’s measures would make a “really big difference” to entrepreneurs.

In a social media video, the Chancellor said the statement had “110 different measures to help grow the British economy”.

“I’m thinking of my own business, that I set up over 30 years ago,” the Chancellor said.

“I want to help thousands of other people do what I did, and I hope today will make a really big difference.”

National Living Wage Rise

The autumn statement came after Mr Hunt had announced a rise in the National Living Wage which would equate to an extra £1,800 for full-time workers.

The boost will see the National Living Wage increase by more than £1 an hour, from £10.42 to £11.44, from April.

Eligibility for the National Living Wage will also be extended by reducing the age threshold to 21-year-olds for the first time. 

a wage boost to £8.60 per hour – a £1.11 hourly pay bump.

The Department for Business and Trade estimate 2.7 million workers will directly benefit from the 2024 National Living Wage increase.

Mr Hunt said: “Next April all full-time workers on the National Living Wage will get a pay rise of over £1,800 a year. That will end low pay in this country, delivering on our manifesto promise.

“The National Living Wage has helped halve the number of people on low pay since 2010, making sure work always pays.”