Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor, has bowed to stress and introduced a £15bn package deal of measures to assist households combating vitality payments, funded by a windfall tax on oil and gasoline producers.
More assist will likely be directed to these on the bottom incomes, however the authorities has additionally appeared to assist the “squeezed middle”, with a variety of common and focused measures. FT Money affords a information to what help is on the market.
What new assist has been introduced this week?
All UK households with an electrical energy meter will obtain a one-off grant of £400, which will likely be robotically utilized to payments from October and doesn’t have to be repaid.
This replaces earlier plans for a £200 “heat now, pay later” scheme that will have been clawed again over 5 years.
More than 8mn households on means-tested advantages (together with common credit score, tax credit and pension credit score) will moreover be eligible for a one-off £650 “cost of living payment” to be paid in two phases: the primary in July and the second this autumn.
The Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs will make these funds instantly. The cash is tax-free, is not going to depend in the direction of the profit cap and won’t have any influence on current profit awards.
More than 8mn pensioner households that obtain the winter gas fee will moreover obtain a one-off £300 “pensioner cost of living payment” this winter that will likely be paid on to them.
This will likely be per family, not per pensioner, and will likely be paid on prime of any assist they’re already entitled to, resembling pension credit score or incapacity advantages. It isn’t taxable and doesn’t have an effect on eligibility for different advantages.
In his speech, the chancellor recognised that not all households that have been entitled to assert pension credit score have been doing so. If you’re uncertain of your entitlement, use the federal government’s checking device gov.uk/pension-credit/eligibility.
What about these with disabilities?
A separate £150 “disability cost of living payment” will likely be made in September to individuals who already obtain advantages, together with incapacity dwelling allowance, the non-public independence fee and attendance allowance.
Cost of dwelling measures
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The authorities stated this was to replicate extra prices, resembling powering specialist gear and elevated transport prices.
Some disabled folks may also be entitled to the primary £650 value of dwelling fee — however provided that they’re on means-tested advantages, which has prompted criticism from campaigners.
“The Tories have now given disabled people a one-off £150 payment for the cost of living crisis — having removed many disabled people’s annual £150 Warm Home Discount,” Dr Frances Ryan, the writer and incapacity rights campaigner, stated on Twitter. “You’ve almost got to respect the nerve.”
When will the £150 council tax rebate be paid?
In England, all properties in council tax bands A-D are entitled to a £150 rebate on prime of the measures introduced as we speak. Many native authorities have already made this within the type of a reversed £150 direct debit, however households that don’t pay by direct debit must apply to their native council to obtain it.
Households that don’t qualify for this and different advantages can moreover apply for a share of their native authority’s Household Support Fund for assist with the rising value of meals, vitality and water payments. On Thursday, the chancellor introduced an additional £500mn of funding.
I don’t want this cash. Can I decide out?
It isn’t doable to decide out of the winter gas fee, pensioner value of dwelling fee or £400 grant utilized to vitality payments — however you may donate it to charity. The #donatetherebate marketing campaign on social media reveals that many individuals are donating to gas poverty charities resembling Fuel Bank Foundation and National Energy Action, in addition to native meals banks — and eligible taxpayers can enhance the worth of their donation by including Gift Aid.