Autumn Statement: Jeremy Hunt outlines further energy support
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The Chancellor has confirmed that there will be a means-tested cost of living payment worth £900 next year. On top of this, Jeremy Hunt announced cost of living payments worth £300 and £150 for pensioner households and those with a disability, respectively. This comes after a similar £650 payment was rolled out this year for those on means-tested benefits.
It comes as households are dealing with rising energy bills and inflation at 11.1 percent which today’s Autumn Statement hopes to address.
Speaking to MPs in Parliament for his Autumn Budget earlier today, Mr Hunt said: “For the most vulnerable we will introduce additional cost of living payments next year, of £900 to households on means-tested benefits; £300 to pensioner households; and £150 for individuals on disability benefit.
“We will also provide an additional £1billion of funding to enable a further 12-month extension to the Household Support Fund, helping local authorities to assist those who might otherwise fall through the cracks.
“And for those households who use alternative fuels such as heating oil and LPG to heat their homes, I am today doubling the amount of support from £100 to £200, which will be delivered as soon as possible this winter.
“Before the end of this year, we will also bring forward a new targeted approach to support businesses from next April.”
What are means-tested benefits?
The Government’s previous £650 payment was also reserved for those who claimed means-tested benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
This was considered as targeted support for Britons who are more likely to be on lower incomes and affected by the rise in the cost of living.
Examples of means-tested DWP benefits include Universal Credit and Pension Credit, which are two of the most-well known payments.
However, it appears that the Government has hiked this cost of living payment to £900 considering the continuous increase to the UK’s inflation rate.
Claimants of the following DWP benefit payments will be eligible for the Government’s £900 cost of living support:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit.
Additionally, the £300 pensioner cost of living payment and £150 lump sum for those with a disability are returning.
In the last year, this support was introduced in recognition of the unique financial difficulties faced by these groups.
Furthermore, Jeremy Hunt reiterated the Government’s support for the triple lock which will see state pensions rise significantly.
Based on last month’s inflation figure, payments should rise by just over £200 per week as of next April.
On top of this, the Chancellor revealed the payment rate for benefit payments will go up next year.
Means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, will receive a 10.1 percent boost in 2023. This is in line with the rate hike for the state pension.
As a result, the standard allowance in Universal Credit for a single person over 25 will rise from £335 to £369 a month.
The £23,000 benefit cap in London or £20,000 outside the city will increase with inflation following a period of cap freezes.
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