Happy New Year.
I hope you’ve managed to safely spend time with your family, friends and loved ones over Christmas, while reflecting on what has been a difficult year for many, but with hope for better times ahead.
Please find my monthly Newsletter attached. I wrote this in between debates on parties in Downing Street and slashing tax on your energy bills – debates in which, the Prime Minister was missing in action
This has been a very intense week in Parliament and and I suspect things will only get worse for the Prime Minister.
I will keep you informed, as ever.
In an Urgent Question to ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on reports of an event held in the Downing Street Garden on 20 May 2020 , I asked the Tory Minister why anyone in Newport West, or in this country, should ever believe a word this Prime Minister says again? People in Newport West and across the United Kingdom are rightfully furious – like myself – at another breach of Covid regulations by this failing and dishonest Tory Prime Minister.
You can watch my question here: https://fb.watch/aupM85mHH_/
The fact that not one single Cabinet Minister and very few Tory backbenchers were in the Chamber for this debate shows that Boris Johnson is haemorrhaging support from in his party. Tory MPs couldn’t even bring themselves to defend the Prime Minister’s actions, so why should we?
Earlier this week, Labour forced a vote to cut the rate on VAT on household energy bills as soon as possible which would help support families struggling to pay their bills.
But the Tories voted against Labour’s motion. The Tories voted against keeping energy bills low and I cannot understand it.
Please rest assured, I will continue to put pressure on the UK Government and press Government Ministers on this matter.
The cost of living crisis is having a devastating impact on people in Newport West. Times are very difficult at the moment. My office continues to support people across Newport West, so if you have a query or need assistance please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01633 256268.
Here is a list of useful links below, to ensure that you are getting all the support you need.
Firstly, please check that you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to by heading to: http://benefits-calculator-2.turn2us.org.uk
Since May 2021, 25% of Welsh households have borrowed money, whilst 12% of Welsh households are at least one month behind on a bill. If you have any money worries, Step Change can help you. Step Change is a listed charity that helps you deal with your debt in a manageable way. Head to their website: https://www.stepchange.org
Help with Energy Bills
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.
The Winter Fuel Support Scheme
As part of support package of over £50m to address immediate pressures on living costs, Welsh Government has made available over £38 million through a Winter Fuel Support Scheme.
The scheme will provide a one-off £100 cash payment to one working age household member responsible for utility bills.
The payment will be available to all eligible households regardless of whether they pay for their on-grid fuel on a pre-payment meter, by direct debit or by paying a bill quarterly.
You must be in receipt of a certain welfare benefit at any time between 1st December 2021 and 31st January 2022.
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Based Employment & Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credits
Applications are open until midnight on 18 February 2022.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).
You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically (you do not need to claim) if you’re eligible and either:
- get the State Pension
- get another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit)
If you do not get either of these, or if you live abroad, you may need to make a claim.
If you’ve got a Winter Fuel Payment before, you do not need to claim again unless you’ve deferred your State Pension or moved abroad.
The deadline for you to make a claim for winter 2021 to 2022 is 31 March 2022.
This month constituents have mostly been in touch with my office about:
– Health, Services and Medicine
– Parliament, Government and Politics
– Agriculture, Animals, Food and Rural Affairs