Martin Lewis asks Rishi Sunak to explain why thousands on benefits and low incomes will miss out on the £650 payment

MONEY SAVING EXPERT Martin Lewis has grilled Rishi Sunak over the groups of people who may miss out on the package of help announced by the Chancellor today.

Earlier today, Mr Sunak announced a bumper £15billion package to help struggling Brits with soaring bills and record-high inflation.

It included a £650 payment to 8million on means tested benefits, a £400 payment to every household, £150 to those on disability benefits and a £300 payment to 8million pensioner households.

He also announced £500million extra to the Household Support Fund, which gives struggling households extra cash and vouchers towards bills via local councils.

But in a live Q&A hosted on Mr Lewis' Twitter Page and MoneySavingExpert website the consumer expert shared some concerns.

He pointed out that some Brits on certain benefits – contributions based Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments – as well as those who receive a Carers Allowance will miss out on the £650 payment.


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Mr Sunak said: "Our existing system is the best guide. That 8million are on means tested benefits.

"This is where the majority of calls were from for help.

"This comes on top of the £400 and likely the £150.

"A third of UK households will receive that support. There will always be other people who need support as well.

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"We've put some support in place to help those with disability benefits."

"The majority of people on carers allowance will get those other things."

Mr Sunak also said that the government has created a discretionary fund, which is available via local councils for households who miss out.

Mr Lewis asked the Chancellor about those on low incomes who don't get Universal Credit but are still being hit by the cost of living crisis.

Mr Sunak said "It's right to prioritise most in need.

"We are putting up national minimum wage and reducing the national insurance thresholds"

"A single mother with two kids on the national living wage – that single mum will be better off by £2,500 to help combat some of the rising bills.

"I'm not saying that will solve the problem but we are providing support."

Earlier in the day Mr Lewis said that he thought the support package was "generous", as he explained how much people can expect to get as part of the measures.

He had meanwhile described the rises most households had experienced in bills and taxes as "staggering" and "unbelievable" too.

The energy price cap went up to £1,971 on April 1 from £1,277 – adding £700 a year to bills for 22million customers.

But regulator Ofgem predicts it'll go up another £800 on top of that come the autumn time, when the price cap could reach around £2,800.

Mr Lewis explained earlier today, that the jump from the average energy price before April to this October's predicted cap, means consumers forking out almost £1,500 a year more in a typical bill.

The one-off £650 payment should mitigate some of these soaring costs for households, but only if they are eligible.

If you already receive universal credit, pensions credit, housing benefit, jobseekers’ allowance and income support, then you will be in line for the part of the support.

The Department for Work and Pensions will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July this year, and the second in the autumn.

The payment will also be tax-free and won't count towards the benefit cap and it won't affect any existing payment.

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Martin revealed exactly how the other elements of the support package would work too, including how the not-loan-loan had been spared.

It comes after he revealed to consumers whether now is the best time to fix your energy bill, before the cap rockets further.

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