Many people in Crawley will be aware of price pressures on energy bills. While this is down to the fact that it is more expensive for suppliers to buy oil, coal and gas internationally, it falls to the Government to put in support measures that help people locally and nationally with the cost of living.
Steps have already been taken which are helping people in our town. The reduction to the Universal Credit taper rate, the increasing of the National Living Wage, the freezing of fuel duty for the twelfth year in a row and the launch of the £500 million Household Support Fund all go to support the lowest-income households.
Last week the Chancellor announced a three-part plan to provide support for household fuel bills.
This will comprise of: a £200 ‘smoothing’ rebate on energy bills for all households; a non-repayable £150 cash rebate for homes in council tax bands A to D; and £144 million of discretionary funding for local councils to support households not eligible for the council tax rebate.
Firstly; all households in Great Britain will receive a £200 rebate on electricity costs from their supplier this October. This is to be identified clearly as a line on electricity bills.
Secondly, the Government will fund local authorities to give all households in England a one-off council tax rebate of £150 in 2022-23 for homes in council tax bands A to D.
HM Treasury expect the vast majority of people who pay by Direct Debit to receive this money in April. For those who do not pay via Direct Debit, the local authority will be ready to process their claims in the same month.
Thirdly; Government is also providing £144 million of discretionary funding for councils to support households not eligible for other support, including those properties in bands A to D that are exempt from council tax, as well as households on lower incomes in higher bands.
This three-part approach goes alongside the plans to increase and extend the Warm Homes Discount, with this support being enhanced from £140 to £150 and eligibility being extended by one third to a further 780,000 vulnerable households.
The new support announced last week is available to all those who currently receive the Warm Homes Discount. Someone currently receiving the £140 Warm Homes Discount will, as a result of this new package, receive £500: the £200 smoothing rebate, a £150 council tax rebate and the £150 new Warm Homes Discount.
Henry Smith MP