Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he is doubling the Household Support Fund from £500m to £1 billion to help vulnerable households.
The Household Support Fund will be distributed by councils across England to assist the households through small grants to meet daily necessities like food, clothing and utilities.
Why has the fund been doubled?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the support fund will be doubled “to help the most vulnerable households with rising costs”.
The Spring Statement reads that the Household Support Fund will “help the most vulnerable households with the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and utilities, the government is also providing an additional £500 million for the Household Support Fund from April, on top of the £500 million already provided since October 2021, bringing total funding to £1 billion,”
Local authorities will receive the extra funding from April.
“These new measures mean the government is now providing support worth over £22 billion in 2022-23 that will help households with the cost of living.”
In the Spring Statement, Mr Sunak announced a reduction from 5% to zero on VAT for materials such as solar panels, heat pumps and insulation to help homeowners install more energy saving materials.
He said: “We’ll also reverse the EU’s decision to take wind and water turbines out of scope – and zero rate them as well. And we’ll abolish all the red tape imposed by the EU. A family having a solar panel installed will see tax savings worth over £1,000. And savings on their energy bill of over £300 per year.”
However, the policy will not immediately apply to Northern Ireland due to “deficiencies” in the Northern Ireland Protocol, but support will be offered.
How to apply for The Household Support Fund
The scheme was first on 30 September 2021, and the funding was made available to local authorities in October 2021.
The Government website states those who are in need of the support this fund can offer, should contact their local council, who will help them access the fund.
50% of the fund is reserved for households with children, and of the original £500 million, £421 million was allocated to the most vulnerable groups in England. Devolved administrations were given £80 million.
However, eligibility requirements to access the fund may vary with local councils, so it is best to check with your council to see if you’re eligible.
The rising cost of living
The announcement comes as Britain sees a soar in the cost of living, as energy prices, food prices and broadband prices rising.
Mr Sunak said the UK Government wanted people to know they will “stand by them” in dealing with rising living costs and has announced a series of changes in his 2022 Spring Statement.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.