Five things the UK is doing to combat rising costs of living

Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted the government is not providing enough support to the cost of living crisis, but no emergency measures will be announced until September.

In the meantime, Ireland has brought forward its budget to the end of September due to the crisis.

Some measures expected to be introduced by the Irish Government include a one-off double payment of the Household Benefits Package, a second installment of the £200 electricity loan and an increase of at least €10 if not €10 on all social security rates in the new year.

Here are the UK government’s current actions to deal with the cost of living crisis and how it compares to Ireland:

1. £400 off energy bills

Every household in England, Scotland and Wales gets a £400 rebate on their energy bill as part of the UK Government’s cost-of-living support package.

This is managed by the energy suppliers over a period of six months, with payment beginning in October 2022.

This compares to the €200 Irish energy customers received earlier this year.

Households in the AD council tax bands in England will get a £150 rebate on top of the £400 to help pay the rising bills.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have sent mixed signals on whether that £400 will be given to Northern Ireland households in November.

While Business Secretary Gordon Lyons said he had been told when the money would be delivered, Treasury Secretary Conor Murphy claimed there was “no guarantee of when citizens will get the appropriate support here compared to the rest of the UK”.

2. One-off living cost payment of £600 for low-income households

Almost eight million people in the UK will receive a one-off living cost payment of £650.

It is a means-tested benefit that is paid in two installments.

A lump sum of £326 was paid in July and the second installment of £324 will be paid in the autumn, according to the Department for Works and Pensions.

3. Reduction of fuel delivery

The UK government cut fuel taxes by 5 pence a liter in May as fuel costs soared.

This compares to Ireland’s 20 cents per liter of petrol and 15 cents per liter of diesel.

The UK is one of the European countries that has done the least to help drivers with rising fuel costs, as Germany has deducted the equivalent of 25p from the tax per liter of petrol, Italy 16p and Portugal 16p.

This is due to the Irish government’s growing concern about the threat of fuel rationing, as sources say nationwide power outages are looming as a result of Europe-wide supply problems.

From the beginning of next week, diesel and petrol prices are expected to rise again to 2 euros per liter.

4. Budget Support Fund

The Household Support Fund was first launched in the UK in September 2021 and it has been announced that it will now run until March 2023.

A further £500million in support has been allocated to the fund, which provides payments for essentials such as food, supplies and clothing to some households.

Payments are distributed by local councils and eligibility varies by area but is generally means-tested.

5. Living expenses for pensioners

UK pensioners will receive an extra £300 in November and December to help meet rising energy bills.

Households receiving the Winter Fuel Payment, which is granted to almost all households with at least one person of retirement age, will receive that £300 on top of the £650 Fuel Payment.

These payments are made by the government directly to eligible households. Five things the UK is doing to combat rising costs of living

Fry Electronics Team

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