As reported by the BBC last week, a £15bn deal has been announced to help struggling Brits with the rising cost of energy.
In April, bills had already risen by £700 on average due to a huge increase in the price cap, initially designed to protect customers from soaring energy costs. A £150 per household (minimum) rebate is already being rolled out across the UK to those in council tax bands A-D, with many people having already received a direct bank account payment from their local council.
And the (sort-of) good news is that the government has introduced a 25% windfall tax on energy companies, some of whom were set to bank record profits in the face of nationwide energy cost misery. This will, in part, help fund a package of support for all households in the UK.
Every household in the UK will receive an energy bill discount of £400. While there has been some criticism that this includes those who own second homes, this is a welcome gesture for the vast majority of bill payers. About 28 million households in the UK will benefit and it is an automatic discount, there is no application needed. It’s important to mention that this is not a loan, there is nothing to repay and you will not be required to cover this cost in any other way.
But, there’s more help on the way, depending on circumstances. As stated on gov.uk:
“Millions of households across the UK are struggling to make their incomes stretch to cover the rising cost of living. That is why the government is providing over £15 billion in further support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need. This package is in addition to the over £22 billion announced previously, with government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37 billion this year. This means that almost all of the eight million most vulnerable households will get £1,200 of one-off support in total this year to help with the cost of living, with all domestic electricity customers receiving at least £400.”
What does this really mean? We’ve boiled it down for you:
1. Those on Disability Benefit: This £150 payment, expected in September, will be exempt from tax and will not count towards disability benefit. It’s available for those who receive the following:
Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment
Scottish Disability Benefits
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement
2. Pensioners: A non-taxable £300 on top of winter fuel allowance. As gov.uk states: “All pensioner households will get the one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment as a top-up to their annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/December. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit”
3. Means-tested benefits claimants: £650, on top of any other payments as listed above, will be made over two instalments this year. This will affect about 8 million households and covers those in receipt of:
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
While these payments are much better than nothing, many households are still looking for ways to tidy up their spending habits. For a quick, easy, simple, and totally free way to look after your subscriptions, and easily cancel the ones you don’t use, head over to check out our new subscription management app and join the waitlist for the Little Birdie app – we'll let you know when she has landed in App Store & Google Play!
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