The increase in the household support fund and changes to the National Insurance threshold are welcome, but there will still be many families on the lowest incomes who are very anxious about the cost of living, particularly rising energy bills.
We wanted to see more help today with energy bills. Many housing association residents have their heating and hot water delivered to their home via a communal heat network, rather than an individual boiler. These networks are not covered by the energy price cap. The government should put additional support in place to ensure residents using heat networks aren’t facing huge and unmanageable gas and electric bills.
We also hope the government does not lose sight of its long term sustainability goals. Insulating and retrofitting our homes will be vital to keeping bills lower and improving the UK’s energy independence in coming years.
The VAT cut on green home measures for home owners is positive. An additional two years of funding to 2027 for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund would provide the certainty and capacity housing associations need to do more, quicker. We look forward to reading the government’s forthcoming energy strategy.