Inflation is trending up again from next month as the cost of living crisis, coupled with global sanctions on Russia hit our finances. But it does mean you may be eligible for additional financial aid. Martin Lewis explained
Martin Lewis has delivered an important message to every household with an income of £30,000 or less as the cost of living crisis continues to escalate.
That’s about half of the UK – with the median income in 2020 being around £30,800, according to GoSimpleTax.
Martin begins: “If you have income under £30,000 and you’re struggling.
“You should spend 10 minutes on the benefits calculator to see what you get.”
Martin also uses this program to incentivize people who buy more than 12 premium prescriptions per year to receive annual prescribing certificate at £108is a one-time payment to cover all prescriptions for 12 months.
And he has a message for those thinking about buying now, pay later.
“I am very interested in buy now, pay later,” he explains.
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“It is a debt even if it has no debt. If you can’t pay it, it’s going to be difficult.”
Earlier this week, Martin warned households to act first Ofgem’s ceiling increase in energy prices the next month.
The maximum you can be charged on SVT is increasing from £1,277 to £1,971 from April 1 – marking a staggering 54% increase.
Prepaid customers will be hit harder, with an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.
Martin reminds those who are on older prepaid meters to check if they can “reserve” power now to beat the April bull run.
MSE explained how if you top up now, but use energy Once the rate cap changes, you will be charged your gas and electricity at the applicable rate when you fully top up.
Your rate will not change until the first time you deposit after the price adjustment.
If you have a prepaid smart meter, unfortunately this reserve trick won’t work as these are updated remotely with the new rate on the day of the price change.
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“That means if you top up in March before the rate goes up, that’s what you’ll get, even if you use that energy in April,” he said.
“So you can extend the cheap rates we currently have for longer by maxing out if you can afford it – and I know not everyone who pays upfront can.”
Sadly now there’s no equivalent way to “reserve” energy if you pay by direct debit.
But it’s important to do regular meter readings so you can check that you’re getting paid correctly.
Martin recommends one reading today and then another reading on March 31, before the new price cap goes into effect.
“I would suggest you read the meter today and time it to read on March 31st, so you draw a line and tell the energy company that all the energy I used must be at a cheap price,” he said.
Martin has also urged families to check how they can claim a £150 council tax relief from April.
Council tax relief will apply to homes in council tax bands A, B, C or D in England and Wales – around 80% of properties – but not to homes living in council tax bands bronze E, F, G and H (or I’m fine, in Wales).
Scottish residents will also get a £150 discount if they are in groups A to D – but they will also be eligible if they are currently on council tax relief.
People living in the UK have been told they will automatically get a discount if they pay their council tax by direct debit.
If you’re not paying by direct debit, you’ll be given instructions by the board on how to apply.
“Watch for correspondence from the council as each board will tell you their requirements system and you need to keep track of that,” says Martin.
“If you don’t qualify for £150, for example because you’re in the upper tier, there is a discretionary £140m fund being set up to help those in need.
“It will be up to each council to decide how it distributes it, but be prepared to insist on it.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/martin-lewis-message-every-household-26421699 Martin Lewis's message to every household earning less than £30,000 a year