Here’s what you need to know about the UK government’s announcement on the various changes to household finances that will happen in April 2023.
If you qualify for means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits or Pension Credit from April 2023, you'll receive cost of living payments throughout the year totalling £900.
All pensioners will receive a cash payment of £300, in addition to any entitlement to cost of living payments.
People with a disability, such as those receiving disability living allowance, personal independence payment, or Attendance Allowance, will receive £150, in addition to any entitlement to cost of living payments.
The good news is that these cost-of-living payments will be tax-free and won't affect your entitlement to any existing benefits.
From next April, local authorities will also have access to another £1B in the Household Support Fund to provide financial assistance to people in need with things like replacement kitchen appliances and warm clothes.
From April 2023, the government will continue to cap energy bills for every household for 12 months, but at a higher amount than currently. The average household will pay around £3,000 per annum, but what you pay might be more or less depending on how much energy you use.
And if you use an alternative fuel to heat your home, like oil, coal or LPG, you'll now get £200 this winter, not £100 as previously announced. From April, all poorly insulated homes in the following tax bands will be eligible for government-funded energy efficiency measures via the Energy Company Obligation:
This should save households an average of £320 per year.
Most benefits, including universal credit, carers allowance and state pensions, will be increased by 10.1% next April. Although in Northern Ireland, this will be decided by the Assembly.
The benefit cap for families will rise to £25,323 in Greater London and £22,020 elsewhere.
And the national living wage for those over 23 will be increased by 9.7% from next April, worth an extra £1,600 for a full-time worker.
If you are on means-tested benefits and fall behind with your mortgage payments for three months or more, even if you are still working and earning, the government will lend you money to meet your mortgage interest at a rate of 2.09% on a mortgage of up to £200,000.
The idea is to avoid people losing their homes, with the debt repaid when the property is eventually sold.
We'll all start to pay more income tax and National Insurance over the next five years because the thresholds for paying basic rate and 40% rate tax are frozen until 2028.
And more people will lose some or all of their child benefit if their annual income exceeds £50,000.
For those lucky to be earning more than £125,140 per annum, from April 2023 the 45% rate will be applied to income above that amount.
Local authorities will be permitted to increase council tax by up to 5% without seeking voters' approval, so be prepared for higher costs. But do check with your council to see whether you qualify for discounts or exemptions.
You can find out more details on all the government financial support on offer by visiting this website.
And you can find sources of personal guidance on the Money Helper website.
We know that times are tough, so ensure you get the help and support you need.