I have been contacted by constituents about the Cost of Living.
As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:
The last few years have been unprecedented, from a pandemic that has severely damaged the global economy, to a cost-of-living challenge now being felt across the world. Due to a series of global forces, families and businesses are facing a significant rise in inflation.
While it is impossible for any government to solve every problem, the priority of this Government is to help the millions of families struggling with the cost of living. The Chancellor announced during his Spring Statement a £15 billion package of support.
This significant intervention includes a new, one-off £650 payment to more than 8 million low-income households on Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit and legacy benefits, with separate one-off payments of £300 to pensioner households and £150 to individuals receiving disability benefits – helping support those who are most vulnerable to rising prices.
The Chancellor also announced that the energy bills discount due to come in from October, is being doubled from £200 to £400 and the requirement to pay it back will be scrapped. This means universal support for households will increase to £400.
The new support package, to help with the cost of living, will mean that almost eight million of the most vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 of extra support this year, including the £150 council tax rebate that many families received recently. In Milton Keynes, 95,890 properties in Bands A-D will benefit from the tax rebate. Alongside this, Milton Keynes Council was given funding from the Government to support vulnerable families who do not live in Bands A-D properties.
To ensure there is support for everyone who needs it, the Chancellor has also announced a £500 million increase for the Household Support Fund, delivered by Local Authorities, extending it from October until March 2023. This brings the total Household Support Fund to £1.5 billion. Milton Keynes Council received £1.79 million from the Household Support Fund to support families.
In total, this Government is providing over £37 billion of support to help families with the cost of living.
To help pay for the extra support, a new temporary 25% Energy Profits Levy will be introduced for oil and gas companies. At the same time, in order to increase the incentive to invest, the new levy will include a generous new 80% investment allowance. This balanced approach allows the government to deliver support to families, while encouraging investment and growth.
Further information can be accessed via the link below, which contains the full transcript of the Chancellor’s statement:
If you are experiencing difficulty and would like assistance, please do get in touch with my office.