Dates for DWP Costs of Living Payments Pensions and Benefits for JulyAmidst an ongoing cost of living crisis, people across Britain are grappling with financial challenges, with a recent study by the Financial Conduct Authority revealing that the number of individuals facing difficulties could be as high as 10 million.
Dates for DWP Costs of Living Payments Pensions and Benefits for July
While the inflation rate recently dropped from 10.1 percent to 8.7 percent in May, the cost of goods on supermarket shelves and in retail outlets remains elevated. Household budgets continue to be strained due to the lingering impact of high energy bills from a harsh winter.
Soaring Food Prices and Adjustments in Spending Habits
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that food prices have surged at their fastest pace in nearly 45 years for the year ending in April. Approximately 44 percent of adults have responded to these price increases by cutting back on their grocery and essential purchases, often opting for more affordable alternatives, according to the ONS. Additionally, half of shoppers report reducing their overall purchases, 67 percent have noted an uptick in their cost of living in the past month, and a staggering 97 percent have been affected by rising grocery costs.
Support Available for Households in July
Despite the conclusion of the Energy Bill Support Scheme introduced by Rishi Sunak at the end of March, households with low incomes are set to receive additional cost of living support from the government. This support could total up to £1,350 this year.
Around eight million benefits claimants who qualify based on means-testing, including those on universal credit, pension credit, and tax credits, will receive £900 in instalments this spring. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that the payments will be distributed directly to bank accounts in three tranches. Moreover, more than six million people with disabilities will receive a separate £150 payment, and over eight million pensioners will receive an extra £300.
The following are the payment schedules that have been outlined, with specific dates expected to be announced later:
- £301 – First cost of living payment – issued between April 25 and May 17 (or May 2 to 9 for tax credit recipients without other low-income benefits)
- £150 – Disability payment – during summer 2023
- £300 – Second cost of living payment – during autumn 2023
- £300 – Pensioner payment – during winter 2023/4
- £299 – Third cost of living payment – during spring 2024
Regular State Benefits Unaffected
Standard state support, including benefits and pensions payments, will continue to be disbursed as scheduled in July, with no bank holidays disrupting delivery dates. Individuals expecting payments such as universal credit, state pension, pension credit, disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance, carer’s allowance, employment support allowance, income support, and jobseeker’s allowance can anticipate receiving them as usual.
Energy Price Situation
As the sweltering weather of July descends upon the country, central heating usage is expected to decline, providing relief from the high energy bills that characterized the past winter. The government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) – designed to cap electricity and gas costs at £2,500 – has concluded. Consumers will revert to the Energy Price Cap (EPC) rate of £2,074 starting July 1, marking a substantial drop from the previous quarter’s £3,280 rate.
Future Price Predictions and Considerations
Energy consultancy firm Cornwall Insight foresees further price decreases in October, projecting an annual bill of £1,976. However, they anticipate prices to rise again in January 2024 to £2,045. Cornwall cautions that energy prices are subject to market volatility due to the UK’s reliance on energy imports, which can be impacted by geopolitical events such as conflicts. Furthermore, Cornwall does not anticipate energy prices returning to pre-pandemic levels before the end of the decade.
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