Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer
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15th Aug, 2022

Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary

Rob George 6th Aug, 2022

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer…

IN THESE warm and sunny days of August, I don’t think any of us minds having the central heating off.  We don’t need to switch our lights on until 9pm and cooler showers are welcome in this heat.

Nevertheless, it seems certain that we will be paying more for gas and electricity this winter. Putin’s evil invasion of his blameless sovereign neighbour is a reminder that the price of freedom, the price of standing up to tyranny, is not free.

But support is already available and I want to outline the different schemes – totalling £37 billion – to help with your energy bills

If you pay your council tax by direct debit you should already have received £150 to your bank account directly or you are eligible to claim it at the Post Office.  These payments for people in band A-D properties went out locally from May.

If you are on an income of less than £36,600 your National Insurance threshold went up in July saving you on average £330 a year.  That will show up automatically in your pay cheque.

If you are on Universal Credit or Pension Credit and Tax Credits, then you will receive a cost of living payment of £650.  Half is paid to you this month and half will be paid in the Autumn.  You should have received the first £325 by now. Don’t forget to check that you are getting everything you are entitled to.

From October to March next year, your energy bill will be reduced by £400 – this will be shown as a reduction of £66 in your monthly bill over the six months we use most energy. If you are disabled you will receive another £150 in cash in September.

Pensioners will receive their usual Winter Fuel Payment this winter plus another £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.   If the weather gets really cold, you will get an extra £25 cold weather payment if you are on benefits.  And the State Pension will go up by inflation.

Low income households will get an extra £150 off their winter electricity bills, and the Household Income Support Fund run by the local Citizens Advice Bureau is also there to give money to the most vulnerable to cover essential costs.  Although it is worrying to think about the winter bills, I hope this column has reassured you that help is on its way.

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