Higher living costs - and mortgage rises - have been eating into the household budgets of Island families. It’s been a difficult few months.

That’s why I want to outline what Rishi Sunak’s team is doing to help Islanders and get inflation, and with it the cost of living, down.

I also want to make sure everyone is aware of the support available. If you think you are eligible but haven’t received support, please contact me at bob.seely.mp@parliament.uk and we’ll get answers for you.

For this two year period the Government is providing a total of £94 billion to support households with the cost of living.

This is the equivalent of £3,300 per household. That’s on top of the £400 billion to get us through the Covid crisis.

The cost of living crisis has largely been fuelled by the cost of Covid as well as the global energy crisis sparked by the Ukraine war. 

Much of the £94 billion has been funded by our windfall tax put in place on North Sea oil and gas companies.

The support package means that: 

First, the price of energy has been capped so that that the average energy bill will be no more than £2,500 per year until the end of June 2023.

Second, 15,400 households on the Island on means-tested benefits will receive an additional £900 Cost of Living payment in 2023/24.

Third, 12,800 households on the Island who receive disability support will receive an additional £150 Disability Cost of Living payment in 2023/24.

Fourth, 37,900 pensioner households on the Island will receive an additional £300 Cost of Living payment in 2023/24.

For pensioners, the state pension has also risen in line with inflation. 

Two schemes are set to close in a matter of days.

These are the Alternative Fuels Payment, for those who use alternative fuel heating, and the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding, which includes certain park home residents and partially or wholly self-funded care home residents. 

For both of the above you should receive funds automatically.

If you don’t, please go to these two sites: https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic and https://www.gov.uk/apply-alternative-fuel-bill-support-if-not-automatic.

There is also the Energy Bills Support Scheme for those who use prepayment meters. You should have been sent vouchers. Please redeem them by June 30.

The good news is that the rise in living costs is expected to fall sharply, but until then, Rishi and his team are committed to supporting Island families.