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Energy bills loan becomes £400 grant

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the proposed £200 loan for energy bills will now be doubled from October, and will no longer need to be repaid.

Part of a £15 billion support package to help tackle the cost of living, low-income earners and the more vulnerable will receive payment to assist with energy bill costs.

One-off payments will be given to pensioners and low income earners of £300 and £650 respectively. A further £150 will be paid out to disabled people to help cover energy costs.

It was also confirmed that benefit payments will rise in line with the September 2022 CPI figure for payments starting in April 2023. Additionally, the state pension triple lock will also be applied.

Direct debit and credit customers will have the money paid directly into their accounts where customers with prepayment meters will have the money deposited into their meter or paid via a voucher.

The Chancellor said:

"The DWP will make the payment in two lump sims, in July and later in the year, and HMRC will make payments to those on tax credits.

"There is no need for people to fill out complicated forms or bureaucracy- we will send the payment straight into their bank accounts."

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, described the package as "big and very welcome support."

He said:

"The decision to provide one-off payments this year to poorer households, pensioners and those with a disability is a good attempt to target those with higher energy bills - although the relative lack of support for larger families stands out.

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