Lynn Beattie (our consumer champion) runs the Mrs Mummypenny Blog. She shares her thoughts about the Cost of Living Package announced by Chancellor Rishi Sonak this afternoon.
Phil Harris (Image:
After months of protesting and public outcry we finally have a U-turn by the government
We are receiving confirmation that the government is providing additional support. Is that enough?
My view is no. However, it will help those in need, especially the most vulnerable members of society.
It is a pleasure to see that 8 million people are receiving increased benefits support.
These people will be getting a £650 payment, split between two payments in July and autumn.
It has been promised that no complex form completion is needed, it will go straight into people’s bank accounts.
Our eight million pensioners receiving the winter fuel payment are to receive an extra £300 payment.
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There are six million people on disability benefits, these people will receive a £150 one off payment, for which many of this group will be in addition to the £650 paid to those on main benefits.
It’s also great news to know that “loan-not-a-loan” payment planned for £200 has been turned into a grant and has been doubled to £400.
It’s a welcome turn for something many had deemed an awful idea. This support is available for all households in England and Wales as well as Scotland.
This will mean that the most vulnerable households will be getting the £650 additional payment plus the £400 grant plus the £150 support already distributed via council tax rebates in April. A total of £1,200 in support.
These payments are going to cost the government a huge £15bn and will be partly funded by an additional temporary tax on oil and gas companies.
Is that enough? No. It will certainly make a difference, especially to the most vulnerable.
But no, it’s not enough to cover all of the increased costs of living. This cost of living crisis isn’t limited to an increase in energy bills.
These bills alone are anticipated to increase by an average of £1,200 in total this year, given the recent announcement of an anticipated further increase to bills in October of an additional £800.
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What about the rising prices of fuel and food, which make up a significant portion of the inflation?
While this additional government support is helpful in reducing energy costs, it does not help with fuel and other food necessities.
Families are having difficulty paying for groceries, uniforms, and transportation costs to get their children to school.
This cost-of-living crisis persists, while all essential costs and expenses continue to rise.
There was an option to reduce the 5% VAT charged on energy bills.
This could have been done to further reduce our energy bills. Particularly since large amounts of our energy bill are fixed monthly charges that we still need to pay, despite doing everything possible to reduce energy use.
The giving of a grant is gratefully received, albeit I can’t help but feel cynical about the timing of the announcement, so close to the Partygate report.