Last week, energy regulator Ofgem confirmed the typical household energy bill would rise by £800 in October. It was a worrying headline for many people in East Devon.
I understand that many households locally could not simply absorb these record prices. There is genuine worry and concern at the pressures with the cost of living. The conversations I have and emails I exchange every day with residents across East Devon make that clear.
What matters now is that those who need help the most will get it.
That is why the Chancellor announced a package of new measures targeted to help households facing acute distress with up to £1,200. There is also more help to pensioners and the disabled.
Experts have warmly welcomed this as a “genuinely big package”. The new tax on the extraordinary and unexpected oil and gas company profits is welcome, too, by still incentivising investment into the UK.
Ultimately, every household is being hit with rising bills. So, it is absolutely right that a £400 discount is being made available to all.
Every pensioner household in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments will get £300 automatically in November. Returning to the triple lock next year will further help pensioners meet rises in the costs of living.
The government has also given Devon County Council an extra £5 million through the Household Support Fund. The council are working with Citizen’s Advice to help those struggling financially, and will set out more details soon of how to apply. If you believe you may be in need of urgent support like this, please get in touch with me and I'll do everything I can to help you.
As I write, towns and villages across East Devon are preparing to come together to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It is a truly historic landmark in Her Majesty’s remarkable reign. Her length of service and dedication to duty are simply without parallel.
I am looking forward to joining events in Sidmouth and Budleigh. However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful bank holiday weekend. God Save the Queen!
This column first appeared in the Exmouth Journal on Wednesday 1st June 2022 and in the Sidmouth Herald and Midweek Herald later in the week.