Factbox-UK sets out 15 billion pounds of further support to ease cost of living pressures

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By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government set out on Thursday a 15 billion pounds ($19 billion) of support to help households struggling with a surging cost of living, funded in part by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

The government said that would increase the total value of cost-of-living support announced this year to 37 billion pounds.

Below are the key measures announced by finance minister Rishi Sunak:

ENERGY BILLS DISCOUNT

Every household will receive a 400 pound credit to their energy bills from October. This replaces a previously planned 200 pound rebate on energy bills which had to be repaid over the next 5 years. The new rebate will not need to be repaid.

LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS

A further one-off payment of 650 pounds will be given to more than 8 million low-income households who are in receipt of state benefits. This will be paid straight into people’s bank accounts in two instalments, the first in July and the second in the autumn.

PENSIONERS

More than 8 million pensioner households, who already receive a winter fuel payment, will also receive an extra one-off payment of 300 pounds.

DISABLED PEOPLE

Some 6 million people who receive disability benefits will receive an extra one-off payment from September of 150 pounds, to help with rising costs of things such as energy-intensive medical equipment.

HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT FUND

This fund, which provides money for local authorities to distribute to support vulnerable households, will be increased by 500 million pounds to extend it to March 2023 from October.

ENERGY PROFITS LEVY

Sunak said he would introduce a new temporary 25% levy on the profits of oil and gas companies, which will be phased out when oil and gas prices return to historically more normal levels.

A new investment allowance will nearly double investment relief for oil and gas companies, meaning that for every pound a company invests it will get back 91 pence in tax relief.

This new tax takes effect immediately and is expected to raise 5 billion pounds in the next 12 months.

($1 = 0.7942 pounds)

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by David Milliken)



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