The Spring Statement - Fuel Poverty Fears Not Addressed





THE SPRING STATEMENT

The Spring Statement was announced this afternoon, with somewhat less than had been hoped, being revealed in the way of savings. The main points were:

* Fuel duty will be cut by 5p a litre from 6 pm this evening until March 2023

* National Insurance threshold to be increased by £3,000 to £12,570

* Basic rate of income tax to be reduced by 1p in 2024

* Household Support Fund to double to £1bn a year in April

* VAT to be scrapped for homeowners installing materials like insulation or solar panels

As a result, those earning below £35,000 should expect to see a £360 saving per year in NIC, and those making £20,000 or less seeing a more significant saving.


Currently, at a record high, the fuel cost will be helped by a duty saving of 5p per litre, equivalent to £1 per tank on average, but this could be wiped cost away as the fu continues to increase.


The income tax cost is to drop by 1p in the £1, but this isn't expected to come into play until 2024, so no real help right now.


Local councils will share an extra £500M to distribute through existing local schemes to those in genuine need.


Those who can afford to install solar panels will see the current 5% tax rate being scrapped. However, this will not help anyone struggling during this current fuel crisis.


In short, the announcements do not protect the poorest households from the increasing cost of living; failing to raise universal credit and other benefits in line with inflation means millions of families will be pulled into hardship. Today was a missed opportunity of not imposing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies' profits to help families with higher bills, at a time when oil and gas companies report record profits and seem to either be a direct snub to the UK energy customers, or a lack of understanding of the genuine concerns of the bill payers, who were hoping that today may be an opportunity for the Chancellor to reduce the number of people who, on the 1st April, will experience a level of fuel poverty, many will never have experienced before.


You can watch the complete Spring Statement below.







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