AS the Prime Minister has rightly said, tackling inflation is the best way to boost people’s incomes, but as the Government works to halve it, we must support families through the challenging winter months ahead, writes Mark Harper.

That is why I welcome the arrival of the second Cost of Living Payment worth £300 for 8,700 vulnerable and low-income households in the Forest of Dean from 31st October 2023, as part of the Conservative Government’s record £94 billion cost of living support package.

Eight million households across the UK in receipt of eligible means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or tax credits, will benefit from the second of three Cost of Living Payments totalling £900 in 2023-24. These payments help low-income and vulnerable families affected by rising prices driven by Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This latest support builds on the Cost of Living Payments made last year worth up to £1,200, and forms part of the Conservative Government’s record financial support for the most vulnerable, worth an average of £3,300 per household.

The payment will be made automatically so there is no need to apply, and it will not count towards the benefit cap or impact on existing benefit awards.

I know that this cost of living support will help hardworking people with daily costs as we continue to take the long-term decisions to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt.

Further support will also be made available for vulnerable households later this winter. Winter Fuel Payments have been boosted again this year with an additional £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

In addition, nearly three million low-income households are eligible for a £150 rebate on their winter electricity bills through the Warm Home Discount, and the Cold Weather Payment is coming into effect from 1st November 2023 to provide eligible households with an extra £25 a week when the temperature drops below zero degrees for more than seven days.

The Conservative Government is taking immediate steps to support many in the Forest of Dean with the cost of living, while working to halve inflation and taking the long-term decisions that are in the best interests of the country.