Renfrewshire Council

Spring Budget 2023: What does it mean for you?

Key points from the UK Government's Spring Budget

Following the UK Government's Spring Budget announcement on Wednesday 15 March, here's a summary of the key points around energy bills, universal credit, childcare payments, inflation, and duty taxes.

Energy Bills

  • The Energy Price Guarantee will continue at the same level, limiting the energy price cap for a typical household to £2,500 per year until the end of June. By this time, the price of energy is expected to drop enough that the guarantee will be no longer needed. Don't forget, this is an illustration based on an average household. You can still pay more than £2,500 per year for gas and electricity depending on the amount of energy you use.
  • The £400 payment will end in March and there are no plans to repeat this support next winter.
  • The charges for pre-payment meters will be reduced. This means customers using pre-payment meters will pay the same rate as those who pay by direct debit. The UK Treasury estimates this will save pre-payment customers an average of £45 per year on their bills from July 2023.

Childcare

  • The UK Government has announced plans in the future to extend the provision of 30 hours of free childcare per week to parents of children aged between 9 months and 2 years in England.
  • Equivalent funding for the introduction of this policy will be given to the Scottish Government who will then decide upon any extension to the existing free childcare provision in Scotland.

Universal Credit childcare allowance

  • Currently, parents in receipt of Universal Credit can claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs, up to £646 per month for a single child, and £1,108 per month for two children. This is paid in arrears, meaning parents must meet childcare charges up front. From July, this will change to an advance payment and the limit will increase to £950 per month for a single child, and £1,630 per month for two children. It should be noted that while the policy change takes effect in July, dates for individual households will vary.

Inflation

  • Inflation is still high and prices are still expected to rise in the shops, but not as fast as they have been.
  • There is still likely to be more difficult price increases. For example, broadband and mobile phone bills are set to increase in April for millions of people, and many homeowners may face higher mortgage payments as their fixed rate deals expire and they move to new deals with higher interest rates. 

Fuel, Tobacco, and Alcohol Duties

  • The tax that motorists pay when buying fuels such as petrol and diesel is no longer scheduled to rise, and we will not see the widely anticipated 12p per litre price rise at the pumps. The price of fuel will still vary depending on the price of oil.
  • Tobacco and alcohol duty will both increase.

For more information, you can access a full and detailed summary of the UK Spring Budget on the UK Government website.

If you are concerned about the rising cost of living or worried about money, you can find information and signposts to where you can get help and advice on our website. Our Help with the cost of living webpage is there to support the people of Renfrewshire and colleagues can also visit the Taking care of our employees wellbeing hub for help taking care of your financial, mental and physical wellbeing.


Published on Thursday 23 March 2023.