I hope you all have been settling back into uni life nicely. Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media about the increase in the cost of living (bills, utilities, national insurance, petrol etc. – so we wanted to let you know what we think this means for all of you.
The other day Rishi Sunak - Chancellor of the Exchequer - announced plans to help households with these costs. Here’s how we think it could affect all of you:
- A Council Tax Rebate of £150.00 from April 2022 (for households in council tax bands A-D). But students are exempt from Council Tax payments and so not eligible for this.
- An Energy Bills Rebate - £200 upfront discount on bills - applied by energy suppliers from October 2022, to then be automatically deducted in bills from April 2023 in £40.00 instalments over the next five years. This means; for family households – discount this year and then start paying it back in future bills from next year for a few years. But those in shared houses – it’s not clear what will happen with this. There are questions around – who benefits from the pay back instalments if students are only in a shared house for 2 years – Plus potentially students who are in properties where all bills are included may see a rent increase.
- Expansion of the Warm Homes Discount that the Government run, linked to several benefits which in most cases students do not qualify for.
Finally, there will be a £144million discretionary fund for local authorities to provide to communities to help with these costs, decided by local council similar to the fund during COVID – which students couldn’t access.
After looking into this, we have been in contact with the University asking them how they will help support students and to ask for Universities UK – to push for the Government to say what support will be available to help students with these living cost increases.
I am very aware that this is a very that this is going to be a very scary time for a lot of us, money is very tight as it is, and these price increases will put a strain on a lot of us finically. As a Students Union we are committed to supporting and lobby for all of you. I will work very hard to ensure the best outcome is reached for our community. I would also remind you all that if you are having particular worries you can speak to myself as well as members of the advice(su) team who will be more than happy to support you the best they can.
Stay safe everyone.
Peace and blessings,