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Gloucestershire Business News

580,000 families in South West getting new cost of living payment

580,000 households in South West will get a cash payment from July 14, to ease cost of living pressures.

50,900 families and 41,700 individuals in Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Tewkesbury and Forest of Dean) were found eligible for the means-tested payment.

After ministers confirmed initial payments would begin from 14 July, the Department for Work and Pensions has now revealed how many people in each part of the country will receive the new financial support. They have also revealed that the disability top-up will land in bank accounts in September.

These figures show that nearly one in four families will receive the means-tested benefit cost of living payment, whilst nearly one in ten of the population will get the £150 disability top-up.

The first cost of living instalment will see millions of low-income households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland initially £326 better off as the government delivers significant interventions to support groups who are most vulnerable to rising costs. In total, millions of households will receive at least £1,200 from the Government this year to help cover rising costs.

Thérèse Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary said: "With millions of the lowest-income households soon seeing the first of two cash instalments land into their bank accounts, we are taking action to directly help families with the cost of living.

"This one-off payment totalling £650 is part of our £37 billion cost of living support package that will put an extra £1,200 into the pockets of those most in need."

The second instalment of £324 will be sent to qualifying low-income households from the Autumn. The payments are designed to be deliberately slightly unequal to minimise fraud risks from those who may seek to exploit this system.

The eligibility date for the second instalment will be announced soon. If customers are eligible through receiving tax credits only, HMRC will contact them and issue payments automatically, with the first instalment being made from autumn. DWP will administer payments for customers on all other eligible means-tested benefits, and customers do not need to contact them or apply for the payment.

Low-income households are benefiting from Government support in a variety of different ways this year as global inflationary pressures, exacerbated by the unjust war in Ukraine, have caused prices to rise for several essentials. The Government understands that many people are worried about the impact these rising prices will have on their household finances, which is why £37 billion of support is being provided to boost budgets and mitigate the worst of these pressures.

Support includes the direct cost of living payment of up to £650 for over 8 million households on eligible means-tested benefits, a separate £300 payment for pensioners, and a £150 payment for eligible disabled people, which can be paid on top of the £650 payment.

This is on top of £400 for all households to help with energy bills, and an extra £150 for properties in Council Tax bands A-D, meaning millions of the lowest-income households will receive at least £1,200 in support this year. This is all in addition to changes to the Universal Credit taper rate and work allowances worth £1,000 a year on average for 1.7 million working claimants, a rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour, and a tax cut for around 30 million workers through a rise in National Insurance contribution thresholds.

The Government has also expanded support for the Household Support Fund - which helps people with food and energy bills - with an extra £421 million, on top of £79 million for devolved nations; the total value of this support now stands at £1.5 billion. Fuel duty was also cut by 5p per litre for 12 months in March, and alcohol duty has been frozen for 2022/23.

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