Luke at the Citizens Advice drop in
Luke at the Citizens Advice drop in

The cost of living crisis is the biggest issue facing our country. With food prices increasing, heating bills going up and taxes rising, I know this is a very difficult time for many families in Plymouth and up and down the country.

I understand your concerns. I do not believe the Government’s actions come close to meeting the challenge this emergency represents. It has provided no effective cost-of-living plan, no effective plan for growth and no plan for rights at work.

The Conservatives are falling far short of the mark and more needs to be done to help families across the UK when prices are scheduled to rise again in April.

If you are struggling to keep up with rising costs, angry about the lack of support, or are confused about what measures are available to you: You are not alone.

TSB’s latest Money Confidence Barometer for South West England found that:

  • 54% of people are worried about rising fuel and energy costs.
  • 49% have taken money out of their savings have done so to cover the increased cost of living.
  • 44% said they have reduced household spending in the last six months to manage the cost-of-living.
  • 20% are worried about paying for household groceries.
  • 20% have taken out new or additional debt.

If you do need help with the cost of living crisis, I have set up this page to signpost advice from some fantastic organisations like Plymouth Online Directory, Citizens Advice and Money Saving Expert on what support is available to you.

Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024

The government has announced when the first cost of living payments of 2023 will be made. These payments are:

  • up to £900 for people on an eligible low income benefit
  • £300 for pensioner households
  • £150 for people on an eligible disability benefit

Currently the Government say that you can expect to receive the payments during the following periods:

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment –paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 for most people on DWP benefits
  • £150 – Disability Payment – during Summer 2023
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023
  • £300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/4
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024

If you are eligible then you will be paid automatically, and there will be no need to apply. Claimants who are eligible for any of the Cost of Living Payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HMRC shortly after DWP payments are issued, and so there may be a short delay in receiving the payment if this applies to you.

Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund is now open for applications. This applies to people who aren’t already receiving an automatic discount, such as: wholly or partially funded care home residents, homes on heat networks, residents of park homes, tenants in certain private and social rented homes and more.

You can find more details on the scheme by reading the below press release:

To apply for the scheme, constituents can follow the link below:

If you do not have access to online forums, you can also call the service by the following number:

Great Britain: 0808 1753 287

It is important to note that, as part of the process, applicants must provide their bank details through the secure portal, but please do make people aware that the Government will never contact you directly to ask for their bank details.


I am here to help, and so please get in touch with me if there is anything that I can assist with. You can call the Plymouth office on 01752 717255 or email me at

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