There's been a lot of concern about the cost of living crisis and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has responded with a raft of support measures ...
In this blog post, I'm going to summarise the grants and other support available to counter any concerns we may have:
The Energy Bills Support Scheme has doubled to £400. This is now a grant which will not be recovered through higher bills in the future. A sensible and very welcome change. Direct debit customers will have this amount credited to their account and pre-pay meter customers will either get the money applied to their meters directly or will receive a voucher.
There will be a £650 one-off cost of living payment for those on means-tested benefits which will help more than eight million households. This will be made in two instalments and includes any households receiving everything from Universal Credit and Jobseekers Allowance to Child Trax Credit and Pensions Credit. The first payment will be in July and the second at some point in the Autumn and will be tax-free, not affecting benefit thresholds.
A £300 Pensioner Cost of Living payment to cover the rising cost of energy this winter. This will be in addition to the Winter Fuel Payment and paid on top of any other one-off support a pensioner's household is entitled to such as Pension Credit or Disability Benefit. Again this is not taxable and does not affect any benefit thresholds.
A £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment for around six million people across the UK who receive everything from Disability Living Allowance to War Pension Mobility Supplement. People with disabilities face additional costs and so this payment will help them.
In addition, the Chancellor is adding £500 million to increase the Household Support Fund which offers extra local support to those most in need due to the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. This will be distributed via Local Authorities.
The Chancellor estimates this extra support is going to cost the country around £15 billion and this will be paid for with a 25% Energy Profits Levy on the oil and gas industry. There will also be a further, but as yet undisclosed, levy on the electricity generation sector.
These companies can reduce the amount they pay by showing increased investment in the United Kingdom, so I do believe this announcement is a bit of a win all around.
If you feel inspired to find out more about anything I've said here, do call me on 01908 774320 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.