As the UK is experiencing the highest inflation for 40 years, averaging about 9% this year, there have been calls on the government to act.
On 26th May, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer outlined a package of measures of support for those whose “struggle is too hard and the risks are too great". This will be paid for by a “temporary targeted profits levy” to tax extraordinary profits of energy companies.
In summary the package includes:
£650 Cost of Living Payment
For all households who receive Universal Credit, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Pension Credit. DWPwill make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. (Payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits only will follow shortly after each to ensure there are no duplicate payments). To be entitled to the first payment recipients will need to have been on:
- UC - for an Assessment Period that ended in the period 26th April - 25th May 2022
- IR-ESA, IS, IB-JSA or PC - for any day in the period of 26th April - 25th May 2022
- Tax Credits - received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, on any day in the period 26th April - 25th May 2022
The government has not yet announced the date on which you must be receiving one of these benefits to receive the second payment.
£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter and will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December.
£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
People who receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance and War Pension Mobility Supplement will receive the support as a one-off payment in September. To be entitled to the first payment claimants will need to be one of the qualifying disability benefits on 25th May 2022.
No need to apply - paid directly into claimant's bank accounts.
No impact on existing benefit awards.
Can be entitled to more than one type of payment.
Increased Household Support Fund for those on just HB / in need.
£400 Energy Support Payment not repayable
The government has decided that the £400 payment that will be given to all domestic energy customers to help with the cost of their energy bills through the Energy Bill Support Scheme will now be given in the form of a grant and not repayable.
Other measures such as the £150 reduction in Council Tax bills for those in band A-D, rising the minimum wage etc all still to go ahead.