All households in Scotland will get an energy bill discount in the shape of a grant that will reduce the impact of increased energy bills in Scotland by £400 from October the chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced.
Further measures announced contain a mix of broad help and specific payments to those on lower incomes, in Scotland and throughout the rest of the UK.
Direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account, while customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.
Whilst this does come as a source of relief for some households in Scotland; there is a long way to go yet as previously reported in the Trust Deed Scotland® cost of living crisis info hub.
If you’ve been following this story closely in the news, you may have heard about the original idea to ‘loan’ £200 to households. Thankfully, the scheme has been scrapped and now replaced by the £400 energy bill discount for all.
The elderly and people on benefits in Scotland get additional help
Households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment, which is nearly all homes with at least one person of pension age in Scotland; will receive an extra £300 in November or December.
Those on lower incomes, who claim pension credit, will also receive the £650 mentioned earlier.
A small group of pensioners with disabilities will receive a total of £1,500 when all the new payments and discounts they are eligible for are added up.
A £650 payment will be made to more than 8,000,000 low income households across the UK who receive Universal Credit, tax credits, pension credit and other means-tested benefits.
This will be an automatic payment into bank accounts. It comes in two instalments – the first in July and the second sometime this autumn. Payments for those on tax credits only will follow shortly afterwards.
Those on disability benefits will receive £150 in September, which may be on top of the £650 payment.
The cost of living crisis in Scotland will not go away
A typical domestic energy bill is estimated to rise to £2,800 in October, Jonathan Brearley CEO of Ofgem recently told MPs. That is an £800 a year increase, on top of a £700 a year rise which took effect in April 2022. Official forecasters are saying that the rate is set to accelerate.
Prices will not fall next year and beyond, but the rate of increase is expected to slow.
The biggest factor is what will happen to energy bills in the next few years. This will depend to a large extent on the war in Ukraine, and its wider impact on energy supplies from Russia and how that changes the wholesale prices paid by energy suppliers. The Russian and Ukrainian conflict may affect the cost of our weekly food shop as wheat prices soared on world commodity markets, and the cost of everything from bread and cakes to noodles and pasta has gone up.
Help to repay unaffordable debt in Scotland
It is important to understand that some bills are more important than others. Known as priority bills, a typical energy bill in Scotland from a current supplier is most definitely a priority bill and you should pay these types of bills first whilst other debts such as credit cards and payday loan debts for example are not as urgent. However, even though these types of debts may not be as important, simply ignoring them is not an option either.
If you feel like you’re really struggling with unaffordable debts you should seek advice from an experienced debt adviser or debt charity as soon as you can.
You’re not alone in asking for help but the sooner you do something about your debt, the sooner you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, as many as 25% of Scots wait 3 years before seeking help with their unaffordable debt so we would urge you to ask for help sooner so that you don’t fall into the same trap.
Trust Deed Scotland® have helped thousands of people in Scotland become debt free since 2009. We have dealt with cases that included council tax arrears, credit card debts and payday loans.
We’ve successfully prevented and lifted creditor enforcement actions such as Wage Arrestments.
Whatever the cause of your money problems, Trust Deed Scotland® can help you to understand your options, find a Scottish debt solution and let you focus on life after debt.
Contact us on 0141 221 0999, or start by simply using our debt calculator tool online to quickly check what your options may look like.