As the weather finally begins to cool, many Britons will once again look anxiously at their energy bills.
While Ofgem’s energy price cap has been frozen at £2,500 until April and market turbulence inspired by the recent political chaos in Westminster appears to have eased – for now, at least – by the rapid appointment of Rishi Sunak as the new British Prime Minister, for many this will remain a difficult season.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee met again on November 3 and raised interest rates further from 2.25% to 3% and the Office for National Statistics will also publish its latest figures for inflation on November 16.
Both developments mean more misery, before Mr Sunak’s Chancellor Jeremy Hunt presents his rescheduled autumn budget on November 17, a program that many fear will lead to higher taxes and cuts austerity in public services to rebalance the British pounds.
But there is good news amid the economic gloom as more cost-of-living assistance will be paid out during the month.
Here’s a guide to what you can expect and who is eligible.
Opening of the cold weather payment program (from November 1)
This government scheme is reopening from the start of the month and will run until March 31, 2023, giving low-income people £25 for every seven-day period that sub-zero temperatures occur.
Money will be paid (depending on the severity of winter weather conditions) to anyone who is registered with the Department for Work and Pensions to receive payment for eligible benefits, such as: pension credit, income support, claimant’s allowance income-based employment allowance, income-related allowance. Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit.
National Insurance increase canceled (from 6 November)
One of the few aspects of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous “mini-budget” to have survived the series of U-turns since its unveiling on September 23 is their decision to scrap the 1.25% hike in dues to national insurance.
After a year of political turmoil in UK public finances, evidenced by three separate changes to this particular tax, employees and the self-employed will eventually benefit from the current situation, which keeps the rate on wages at 12%. between £9,880 and £52,270 a year and 2% on earnings above the latter figure.
The government says this will mean 28 million people will save an additional £330 in the 2023/24 tax year.
Second cost of living payment (from November 8)
The second installment of the £650 cost-of-living payment announced by Mr Sunak as Chancellor this spring, worth £324, begins to be paid into bank accounts from the above date, after the £326 already disbursed in July.
Those eligible include eight million households receiving benefits such as Universal Credit, tax credits, pension credit and legacy benefits.
Opening of the Warm Home Discount program (November 14)
The government’s winter heating aid scheme reopens mid-month and runs until March 31, giving eligible recipients £150 to help them through the coldest season, the money taken from their utility bills. energy directly from their supplier.
The money will be paid to help with high energy costs to anyone receiving the following benefits: pension credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income, universal credit, housing allowance or child tax credits and work tax. Credits.
Second cost of living payment issued to tax credit recipients (November 23)
The aforementioned £324 payment is starting to flow to those on tax credits, a slight delay to those on means-tested benefits.
Two more cost-of-living payments will be made in November to support households, with no exact date.
Payment of pensioner’s cost of living
Vulnerable older people who receive Winter Fuel Payments (WFP) will receive an additional £300 in November or December under plans announced by Mr Sunak earlier this year.
PAMs are usually worth between £200 and £300, depending on your age and circumstances, but people will be eligible if they are over the statutory retirement age – 66 or older – between September 19 and September 25 this year.
As with other measures of this type, you do not need to apply for it. They will be paid to you directly, in this case added to your existing PAM.
Another of the provisions Mr Sunak announced this spring was that each household would receive a £400 cut on the energy bill to soften the blow of rising bills.
This replaced a planned £200 universal loan he announced in February, doubling that figure and turning it into a grant that doesn’t need to be repaid.
This too is paid directly, although this time in monthly installments. The first £66 was shipped in October, followed by another in November, with further payments of £67 from December to March.
Customers who pay their energy bills by direct debit should automatically benefit from their reduction, either as a monthly direct debit or as a refund to their account.
Those who pay on receipt of an invoice should see the discount applied as a credit to their account each month, as will customers of prepaid smart meters, although the latter may be required to manually redeem vouchers sent by SMS , e-mail or mail.