Vodafone has expanded a social tariff plan on its Voxi network to offer unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for £10 for up to six months to anyone receiving benefits as part of efforts to help those hit hardest by the cost of living crisis stay connected.

The Voxi for Now tariff was first introduced by the network operator in 2020 to help those who had become unemployed during the pandemic.

It has now been extended to allow access for anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, disability allowance, Personal Independent Payment, Employment and Support Allowance or employment-based Universal Credit – with those signing up not required to sign a contract. They can pause or cancel the plan at any time.

“By enhancing Voxi for Now and extending it to anyone experiencing financial hardship, we hope to keep as many people as possible connected, both to family and friends, as well as to vital online services,” Vodafone consumer director Max Taylor said.

“If you can’t afford your current plan, or you know someone who is struggling, we can help.”

Eligibility for the scheme does not require a credit check, with Vodafone using open banking technology from Moneyhub to complete an automated check of banking data when customers sign up to the plan and give their consent to take part.

Vodafone’s announcement also comes in the wake of Sky announcing a social tariff for broadband in the wake of encouragement from the Government and regulator Ofcom for all companies to make the public more aware of such deals.

In response to Vodafone’s announcement, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “At a time when family budgets are under pressure from global price rises it is brilliant to see Vodafone offering support for those struggling the most.

“We’ve successfully worked with mobile and broadband companies to broker a range of social tariffs and this new offer means five million people are now able to make savings on their mobile phone bill.

“I urge those eligible to speak to their provider and see if they can save by switching.”