Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor, has bowed to stress and introduced a £15bn bundle of measures to assist households scuffling with power payments, funded by a windfall tax on oil and gasoline producers.
Extra assist shall be directed to these on the bottom incomes, however the authorities has additionally regarded to assist the “squeezed center”, with a variety of common and focused measures. FT Cash 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 shall be routinely utilized to payments from October and doesn’t must be repaid.
This replaces earlier plans for a £200 “warmth now, pay later” scheme that may have been clawed again over 5 years.
Greater 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 “price of residing cost” to be paid in two levels: the primary in July and the second this autumn.
The Division for Work and Pensions and HM Income & Customs will make these funds straight. The cash is tax-free, is not going to rely in direction of the profit cap and won’t have any influence on present profit awards.
Greater than 8mn pensioner households that obtain the winter gasoline cost will moreover obtain a one-off £300 “pensioner price of residing cost” this winter that shall be paid on to them.
This shall be per family, not per pensioner, and shall be paid on prime of any assist they’re already entitled to, corresponding to pension credit score or incapacity advantages. It’s not taxable and doesn’t have an effect on eligibility for different advantages.
In his speech, the chancellor recognised that not all households that had been entitled to assert pension credit score had 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 “incapacity price of residing cost” shall be made in September to individuals who already obtain advantages, together with incapacity residing allowance, the private independence cost and attendance allowance.
The federal government mentioned this was to replicate extra prices, corresponding to powering specialist gear and elevated transport prices.
Some disabled individuals may also be entitled to the principle £650 price of residing cost — however provided that they’re on means-tested advantages, which has prompted criticism from campaigners.
“The Tories have now given disabled individuals a one-off £150 cost for the price of residing disaster — having eliminated many disabled individuals’s annual £150 Heat House Low cost,” Dr Frances Ryan, the writer and incapacity rights campaigner, mentioned on Twitter. “You’ve nearly bought 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 in the present day. 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 Family Assist Fund for assist with the rising price of meals, power and water payments. On Thursday, the chancellor introduced an additional £500mn of funding.
I don’t want this cash. Can I decide out?
It’s not potential to decide out of the winter gasoline cost, pensioner price of residing cost or £400 grant utilized to power payments — however you could possibly donate it to charity. The #donatetherebate marketing campaign on social media exhibits that many individuals are donating to gasoline poverty charities corresponding to Gas Financial institution Basis and Nationwide Vitality Motion, in addition to native meals banks — and eligible taxpayers can enhance the worth of their donation by including Present Help.