Cost of Living updates LIVE: Over 1 million Brits to get £326 from THIS week; plus how to reduce bills & save money | The Sun

Cost of Living updates LIVE: Over 1 million Brits to get £326 from THIS week; plus how to reduce bills & save money | The Sun


OVER 1 MILLION brits will start to receive the first Cost of Living payment from THIS week.

And a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid into the bank accounts of eight million households in November.

Those who already get the winter fuel payment will be eligible for this payment.

For those over the state pension age, the WFP is worth approximately £100 an £300.

In December, payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin.

Read our live blog below for the latest updates….

  • Henry Moore

    30 ways to save cash during the cost of living crisis

    Every little change can help when bills are rising the way they are.

    Here is a list of ways Brits have been saving money during the cost of living crisis.

    1. Turn the heating down
    2. Making sure lights are always turned off
    3. Buy own brand products at the supermarket
    4. Take lunch into work
    5. Turn off all electrics when not using/out of the home
    6. Wear a jumper instead of turning on the heating
    7. Save leftovers for another meal
    8. Using discount vouchers
    9. Use a clothesline instead of a tumble dryer
    10. Collect coupons and money off vouchers
    11. Buy second class stamps instead of first
    12. Buy eco-friendly/energy saving bulbs
    13. Cut down going out
    14. Shop in budget supermarkets
    15. Wait for the sales when making purchases
    16. Buy food and toiletries in bulk
    17. Turning off all the plugs before leaving the house  
    18. Haggle my home/car insurance
    19. Price compare at different grocery stores
    20. Borrow books from your library
    21. Shop at second hand/charity stores
    22. Using public transport instead of taxis
    23. Cut your own hair
    24. Spend your weekend taking part in free activities
    25. Go to supermarkets in the evening for yellow sticker deals
    26. Grow your own vegetables and herbs
    27. Drink water when eating in restaurants
    28. Using an older or hand-me-down phone rather than buying the newest model
    29. Reduce your television/internet packages to the bare minimum
    30. Selling anything you possibly can on an online marketplace
  • Henry Moore

    Exclusive: Rich Brits to be handed £200 million second home energy bill rebate

    The Sun has revealed that wealthy Brits with second homes are set to be given a £200 million energy bill rebate.

    The government is set to give millions of Brits £400 for energy bills this winter, 500,000 of the recipients already own second homes.

    Experts have warned that rocketing gas and electricity prices will see half of homes in fuel poverty this winter.

    Tracey Molineux of Turn2us, says: “Every day, our helpline advisers hear from parents who are skipping meals to keep their children fed, or who are left sitting in the dark to save on energy costs.”

  • Henry Moore

    How to get free white goods and furniture worth up to £500

    As bills rise, there are a number of ways to get your hands on some free white goods.

    Council schemes

    Some councils run schemes where struggling households can apply for money to buy white goods or furniture.

    Haringey Council in London is one.

    Your landlord

    If you live in social housing, your landlord may provide you with furniture and other white goods.

    In some cases, a "furniture pack" is provided as part of your rent and is covered by the service charge part of housing benefit or Universal Credit that you're on.

    If you are living in a furnished tenancy and an item breaks or needs replacing through wear and tear, your landlord will repair or replace it.

    However, not every social landlord offers furnished tenancies so you're not guaranteed this support.

  • Henry Moore

    When is the next cost of living payment?

    Families across the country received a £325 cost of living payment from the government this summer.

    And now the second half of that scheme is set to begin hitting bank accounts next week.

    Brits who are eligible for the £326 payment will see it arrive in their accounts after September 2.

  • Henry Moore

    Nadhim Zahawi to visit US in hope of finding cost of living solution

    Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is set to visit the US soon in the hope finding a joint solution for the cost of living crisis.

    According to Sky News, Zahawi is to "push for co-operation on energy security, financial services and the tackling of spiralling prices."

    Labour have condemned the tax-payer funded trip.

    James Murray, Labour's shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "Rather than going on another junket at the taxpayers' expense, the chancellor should start listening to people here at home and implementing Labour's fully funded plan to freeze energy bills."

  • Henry Moore

    When to submit your meter readings ahead of price hike

    It’s crucial that you get ready to tell your energy firm your gas and electricity meter readings before the massive price increase in October.

    This will reduce your risk of being overcharged when the price cap is raised on October 1.

    You’ll need to get your latest meter readings in by September 30.

  • Henry Moore

    £45k NOT enough to overcome cost of living crisis, claims Zahawi

    Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has warned Brits earning £45k a year will need help with energy bills, not just those on benefits.

    Mr Zahawi told The Daily Telegraph: “My concern is there are those who aren’t on benefits. If you’re a senior nurse or a senior teacher on £45,000 a year, you’re having your energy bills go up 80% and will probably rise even higher in the new year – it’s really hard.”

    He also added Universal Credit is a “really effective way of targeting”, but he suggested alternatives are being examined “to make sure we help those who really need the help”.

  • Henry Moore

    What is the UK's cheapest supermarket?

    Prices are going up, so finding the most affordable place to do your weekly shop is crucial.

    Consumer champion Which? conducted analysis of supermarket prices in July.

    According to the organisation, for smaller shops of 47 items, Aldi comes out the clear winner.

    But if you are looking to do a big shop, 152 items, Asda is the way to go.

  • Henry Moore

    Saving as a student: Student bank accounts

    It can be tough to save while studying, especially as prices soar.

    But there are some ways you can save some money while at university.

    One way is by choosing the right student bank account.

    Which? suggests you should find one with a 0% overdraft that will last throughout your studies.

    A number of banks offer this, including Nationwide.

    Other banks like Santander offer more unique opportunities, such as a rail card.

    Other banks even offer you cash up to £100.

  • Henry Moore

    Who is eligible for the £300 winter fuel discount?

    You’ll get the £300 help if you get the Winter Fuel Payment. You can get this benefit if:

    • you were born on or before 26 September 1955
    • you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 20 to 26 September 2021 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’

    You may still be eligible if you lived in Switzerland or another EEA country in that period, but you won’t get the payment automatically and will have to apply.

    Are YOU eligible for the school uniform grant?

    School uniform grants are typically available for people on benefits such as Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s allowance and child tax credits.

    Children who qualify for free school meals will usually also qualify for uniform help – as long as it’s offered by your council.

    In some cases, financial support will depend on your child’s age or what type of school they are attending.

    Be sure to turn off ‘vampire appliances’

    So-called “vampire appliances” drain energy when left on standby or when used inefficiently – such as a TV and extra fridges.

    Desktop computers and electric towel rails are among some of the worst offenders – they could be adding up to £500 onto your yearly costs.

    Turn them off correctly – by switching them off at the plug and NOT via the standby button – to avoid a big bill sting.

    Brit families could save thousands as Liz Truss pledges to cut VAT

    The Downing Street hopeful is reportedly considering extreme action to end the cost of living crisis.

    Liz Truss, who is in the running to be the next Prime Minister, has endorsed plans to cut VAT from 20 per cent, to 10 per cent.

    The Sun reported that one source said it would most likely not help supermarket shops and the price of food.

    But top economist Prof Patrick Minford suggests it definitely will have it’s advantages.

    He told The Sun that it is the “quickest way” to “offset” the cost of living crisis.

    How much everyday items would cost if they increased in line with gas prices

    Gas prices are soaring at an unprecedented rate, fueling Britain’s cost of living crisis.

    But how much would normal everyday items cost if they went up at the same rate?

    Under current price increases, a pint would cost £33, while a cup of tea would set you back a staggering £28.

    Single mother told to pay more than £560 in energy bills

    The young mother, who lives with her son and dog, usually pays £95 per month.

    Going under the user name @addisionclarice, she uploaded a video to TikTok, showing just how much her bills had risen.

    She said: “Sorry where, where is that money coming from?”

    “It’s more than my rent!” She fumed.

    Other Brits in the comments shared their financial woes as they also experienced massive hikes in their energy bills.

    One replied: “They want me to pay £962 a month.”

    Another said: “Cancel DD [direct debit] and pay what it costs per month!

    “They wanted to charge me £380.

    “Cancelled and this month I only pay £118. I wish people would listen!”

    • Lauren Cole-Lomas

      How does the energy price cap work?

      The energy price cap works by setting a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity.

      Ofgem sets a maximum daily standing charge which is what households have to pay in order to have their home connected to the National Grid.

      The energy price cap only applies to providers’ standard and default tariffs.

      This means if you’re on a fixed-term energy deal, the cap doesn’t apply to you.

    • Lauren Cole-Lomas

      ‘Desperate’ customers leaving restaurants and shops without paying

      Reportedly theft offenses have increased in Hampshire and other parts of the UK.

      Hampshire Live reported that there were 1,531 theft offences in March 2022, up by 912 in the year before.

      It says Asda reported noticing a drop of £160 per month from customers.

    • Lauren Cole-Lomas

      Brits ditch flash cars as cost of living crisis worsens

      Brits are ditching their Range Rovers and BMWs as the cost of living continues to rise.

      Speaking to the Guardian, Lisa Watson of Close Brothers Motor Finance said: “We’re getting people coming from more expensive vehicles switching into more fuel-efficient ones … because clearly consumers are feeling the pinch.

      “We have started seeing these changes over the last two to three months, and they are now becoming more apparent.”

    • Lauren Cole-Lomas

      Brits living on £45,000 will need help paying energy bills, claims chancellor

      There are fears that the energy price cap could rise as high as £7,700 per year.

      Nadhim Zahawi advised houses to greatly reduce their energy consumption.

      The price cap was just increased to £3,549, a massive rise of 80 per cent.

      He told The Daily Telegraph: “My concern is there are those who aren’t on benefits.

      “If you’re a senior nurse or senior teacher on £45,000 a year, you’re having your energy bill go up 80 per cent and will probably rise even higher in the new year, it’s really hard.”

    • Lauren Cole-Lomas

      How much can you get toward school uniforms?

      Each area in Britain offers a different amount in its school uniform grant, so it can be tough to keep up.

      From £200 to less than £70, each area is different.

      Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

    • Lauren Cole-Lomas

      Are YOU eligible for the school uniform grant?

      School uniform grants are typically available for people on benefits such as Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s allowance and child tax credits.

      Children who qualify for free school meals will usually also qualify for uniform help – as long as it’s offered by your council.

      In some cases, financial support will depend on your child’s age or what type of school they are attending.

    • Louis Allwood

      Help with activity costs and school uniforms

      If you're on a low income and live in England, your local education authority might help you with some other costs, such as uniforms or musical instrument lessons.

      You're probably on a low income if you get means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, tax credit or Income Support, Housing Benefit, Employment Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

      If you're not sure, you can ask staff at your local education authority.

      There may also be local charitable schemes to help with school uniforms, it’s worth checking with the school to see if it knows of any.

      Schools can sometimes also advise on finding cheap or free secondhand uniforms.

      In Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be able to get a school uniform grant.

      In Northern Ireland, this is up to £93.60 for the oldest secondary school pupils, up to £150 in Scotland, and up to £300 in Wales through the Pupil Development Grant, which covers school uniform and other costs.

    • Louis Allwood

      Help with transport costs

      If your child is aged five to 16, your local education authority might offer free or lower cost transport if you don't live near school or your child's unable to walk there.

      You need to apply to your local education authority for help.

      If your child is older and in a sixth form or is an apprentice, what help they can get depends on where you live. 

    • Louis Allwood

      Contacts to use if you're stressed

      If you're stressed about the cost of living crisis, here are some contacts that could lend a helping hand for the time being:

      • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
      • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
      • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

      Other ways to get help with your energy bills

      Don't worry if you can't get compensation from an energy issue, there are lots of schemes and funds to lend you a helping hand if times are tough.

      For example, The Household Support Fund was launched in October last year to help Brits pay their way through winter and has now been extended.

      Councils up and down the country have been given a slice of £1.5 billion worth of funding.

      But it's up to individual councils how they dish out their portion of the cash and who in their local area is eligible.

      You should go to your council’s website to find out whether you are eligible for its HSF. 

      In some cases, payments are made automatically to residents who receive means-tested benefits, and in other areas you'll need to apply.  

      Also, households with poor insulation and out-dated heating systems could save up to £200 thanks to a government scheme.

      The government announced in February that a new £67 million Home Upgrade grant will help as many as 4,300 households become more energy efficient.

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