Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to announce further cost of living support as soon as tomorrow to help struggling families.
Reports today suggest the Chancellor has drawn up a £10billion package funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.
It is understood Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants new measures pushed out to take some of the sting out of the partygate report by Sue Gray, which is expected today.
It also comes after the boss of energy regulator Ofgem, Jonathan Brearley, warned its price cap could rise to £2,800 in October.
The Government had only been expected to announce further support for the cost of living crisis after the Queen’s Jubilee long weekend.
No10 has yet to confirm if an announcement will definitely take place on Thursday – the last day before Parliament breaks up for a short recess – and no decisions have definitely been made yet on what help will be available.
But what could the support package from the Government consist of, and will it be enough to help families cope with sky-rocketing bills? Here are a few of the reports floating about.
Warm home discount increase
The Warm Home Discount could be increased from £150 to £500 or another sum to help three million vulnerable pensioners and low-income households, reports have suggested.
The payment was previously worth £140 but had already been increased to £150. The scheme is now closed for this winter and will open again for October.
To be eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme, you normally need to claim the guarantee element of pension credit or other types of benefits.
The criteria is changing from July, when an additional 750,000 households who claim housing benefit will be able to claim the one-off payment.
But 290,000 existing claimants with disabilities who only claim personal independence payments, attendance allowance or disability living allowance will no longer get the warm home discount.
Winter Fuel Payments increase
Another measure said to be being pored over by the Government is an increase to Winter Fuel Payments.
Winter Fuel Payments are worth between £100 and £300 during the winter months and are awarded to those who’ve reached state pension age.
The amount you can receive each winter can vary according to your personal circumstances. Your age or other people living with you who are also eligible can affect the amount you receive.
The date of when you become available changes every year, but most people born on or before 26 September, 1956, are expected to qualify for this year’s payment.
You normally receive a Winter Fuel Payment in November or December.
Universal Credit increase
Ministers have ruled out bringing back the £20-a-week Covid boost to Universal Credit that was issued during the Covid pandemic.
However, some have claimed they could bring forward an annual uprating or tweak thresholds to help people in work.
Benefit payments usually increase each April – but The Daily Telegraph suggests this rise could be brought forward to help struggling Brits.
This would see Universal Credit payments increase in line with today’s inflation figure.
Inflation is currently 9% and a rise last month to benefit payments was just 3.1% in comparison.
Another option is to tweak the work allowance or taper rate for claimants who work.
But DWP sources suggest this is unlikely after it already happened last year.
Another council tax rebate
The Government has already announced a one-off £150 council tax rebate to households in A to D category homes.
But reports suggest further payments could be coming as part of the cost of living package.
Council tax rebates started dropping in accounts from April and local authorities have until September to make the payments.
There is also a £144million discretionary fund pot available for households that are struggling but don’t live in band A to D homes.
Or there could be an extension to the £200 repayable loan being given to families in October.