Thank you for your email. I appreciate that the increased cost of living is having an impact on many people and the Government has taken unprecedented action in a number of respects to ensure that the fullest possible support is being provided to people to help with those costs.
The Government has announced a £37 billion package of support to assist people with the cost of living - Cost of Living Payment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which includes a non-repayable £150 cash rebate which is being/has been provided for people living in homes in Council Tax bands A-D, equivalent to 80 per cent of all households and £144 million of discretionary funding for local authorities to support those not eligible for the council tax rebate. There will also be a £400 energy payment. This means that most families will receive £550 with lower income families receiving more help:
• A £650 one-off cost of living payment for those on means tested benefits such as Universal Credit, job seekers allowance and pension credit.
• A £300 one-off pensioner cost of living payment for pensioners in receipt of the Winter Fuel Allowance.
• A £150 one-off disability cost of living payment for people in receipt of disability benefits.
Full details of the support available are set out in the following toolkit - Cost of Living Support – Get government support to help with the cost of living
In addition, the Chancellor's Spring Statement contained a number of other measures designed to support people with their increased living costs. In addition to the above support, there has been an extension of eligibility of the £140 Warm Homes Discount, reforms to National Insurance which will see the overwhelming majority of taxpayers paying an average of £330 less from July, the 3.1% increase in the state pension and the retention of other pensioner benefits, the doubling of the Household Support Fund to £1.5 billion to help people on lower incomes, a 5p per litre fuel duty cut, a tax cut for businesses by raising the Employment Allowance as well as measures previously confirmed to increase the amount of Universal Credit by reducing the taper rate which represents a tax cut of £1,000 per annum for those on Universal Credit and, finally, a 6.6% increase to the national living wage for those on lower incomes.
As I indicated above, those measures are all designed to help the widest range of people including those in work, in receipt of pensions, on low pay or with a low income and I believe that the Government is doing all that it can in response to the challenges that people will be facing.
Thank you for getting in touch.