As cost of living crisis hits – here’s all the financial support you could get this winter


As cost of living crisis hits – here’s all the financial support you could get this winter

AS the fur flies in the Tory leadership race, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are tearing into each other about what extra cost-of-living crisis sup- por

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AS the fur flies in the Tory leadership race, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are tearing into each other about what extra cost-of-living crisis sup- port might be available this winter.

Amid all their mud slinging, here is what is really happening and what you are entitled to . . .


Rishi Sunak announced £15billion more support for hard-up families battling cost of living hell before quitting as Chancellor[/caption]

Liz Truss has fiercely attacked Sunak’s record but will not be junking any of the support already in the pipeline

What has been announced so far?

One of Rishi Sunak’s final acts before quitting as Chancellor was announcing £15billion more support for hard-up families battling cost of living hell.

The spring package included a one-off £650 cash handout to benefits claimants, a £300 lump sum to the poorest pensioners and a £150 bung for the disabled.

And an energy bills rebate for all households was also doubled to £400.

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It came on top of a £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A to D announced earlier in the year.

Mr Sunak also raised the threshold where workers start paying National Insurance Contributions to £12,570.

He did it to cushion the blow after himself hiking the rate by 1.25 percentage points.

The Government claims it will save the average worker £330.

What has been paid and when do I get the rest of it?

Just over half of the £650 lump sum — £326 — was paid directly into 7.2million bank accounts in July.

The second £324 instalment will follow in the autumn, regardless of who is the next PM.

The extra £300 bump for struggling pensioners will be paid in either November or December, on top of their annual Winter Fuel Allowance.

The disability cash will drop in September.

The council tax rebate started to be paid in April and the £400 energy bills rebate will be paid to all households in October.

The NICs threshold was raised at the start of last month.

Is there any chance the new PM cancels any of this?

No. Rishi is the prime architect of the measures and is sticking by them.

And while Liz Truss has fiercely attacked his record, she will not be junking any of the support already in the pipeline.

It would be deeply unpopular if she started snatching back cash families are banking on.

How much worse have things got since that support package was announced?

Much, much worse. Inflation has rocketed to 9.4 per cent and is set to burst well into double digits.

Energy bills are predicted to jump from £1,971 to an eye-watering £3,359 in October and keep thundering upwards next year.

Household income is now forecast to drop by 2.25 per cent next year, the sharpest slump since records began in the 1060s.

Last week the Bank of England sent up a flare to warn that Britain is heading for a gruelling recession this year.

So what are they going to do about it?

Liz Truss has promised an emergency Budget immediately if she wins, including a £30billion tax cuts bonanza.

She is pledging to reverse the National Insurance rise, which would save someone on £26,000 £170 a year.

She will also wipe green levies off energy bills for two years, saving £320, and ditch the planned Corporation Tax hike to unleash growth.

Rishi Sunak has savaged her plans and warns tax cuts now will only pour petrol on the inflation crisis and shoot up interest rates, saddling home buyers with huge mortgage repayments.

Yet he has vowed to axe VAT on energy bills to save the average home roughly £160, a screeching U-turn from the stubborn resistance he displayed when Chancellor.

He is also promising to cut income tax by 4p within the next seven years, to save the average worker about £777.

Is that it?

Almost certainly not. Rishi Sunak has said he would help squeezed Brits with more targeted support — continuing the approach he adopted in the Treasury, He is likely to set out more details later today.

While Liz Truss said she was not in the business of giving people “handouts”, she says see will keep short-term support under review

Mr Sunak allies skewered her over the muddle and accused her of “making it up as she goes along”, but Ms Truss insists: “The way to support people long term is through having a low-tax, high-wage, high-growth economy. Rishi has done the opposite.”

What happens next?

As the cost-of-living crisis really bites this winter, whoever becomes PM will be under enormous pressure to do more than they have so far promised.

Desperate Brits on the brink will be crying out for a lifeline.

Universal Credit payments could once again be raised to help the poorest.

More help with soaring energy bills is also a pretty safe bet, with the next government likely to consider another rebate or even more stringent price caps

Are they really not going to say anything until September?

Afraid so. Calls for emergency action now by the likes of money expert Martin Lewis have fallen on deaf ears.

All major policy decisions are on ice, with Boris Johnson leaving them to his successor.

In theory, Liz and Rishi could get round the table to green-light some immediate proposals, but there seems more chance of hell freezing over than getting the bitter rivals to agree a ceasefire.

Hard-up Brits will have to wait while the wannabe PMs slug it out for four more weeks until a winner emerges on September 5.

Whoever the victor, families will be looking to them for urgent help.

Rishi helped us out before

By Robert Halfon, Conservative MP and Sunak supporter

PEOPLE are struggling, and as we approach winter every decision that they make will be based on whether they can feed their families or pay their heating bills.

It is the responsibility of any decent government to offer people the peace of mind that they so desperately need.

Robert Halfon says: ‘Rishi Sunak will help – we should trust him because he’s done it before’

Rishi Sunak has been clear that he will help.

Why should we trust him? Because he’s done it before.

During Covid, he stepped in to save 11.6 million jobs across the UK.

As Chancellor, he announced a package of support to help people with rising costs, including up to £1,200 for the most vulnerable families, a fuel duty cut and a £400 energy rebate.

He has outlined further plans and been clear that he will do more once we know how much more bills will be rising.

The plans set out by Liz Truss won’t do anything for hard working families and pensioners.

As we approach the next election, we need to ask ourselves if we want to be the party that helped people through hard times.

We will be punished if we fail to do so.

Liz knows tax cut is answer

By Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary and Truss supporter

BRITS need help on the cost of living by cutting taxes now, not at the end of the decade.

We cannot tax our way to prosperity and growth. No other country in human history has ever done that.

Kwasi Kwarteng says: ‘Liz’s vision for our country is strong, optimistic – and patriotic’

With the tax take at a 70 year high, we need to reject the depressing status quo and urgently change course.

The best way to help families – and to keep British businesses competitive – is to lower taxes, push through bold economic reforms, and ditch burdensome EU regulations.

Liz has a clear Conservative plan to do just that by rewarding hard work and championing our nation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and risk-takers.

Liz’s vision for our country is strong, optimistic – and patriotic.

She does not believe in economic managerialism, Victorian bean-counting or sticking to failed old ways of doing things.

Instead, Liz knows that we can get the British economy going again with bold action and dynamic reform.