Explainers

Over the last few months, the UK and Scottish Governments have taken some action in response to the cost of living crisis. We’re going to attempt to explain this – information here is accurate to our knowledge at the time of publishing.

UK Government Actions

  • Price cap on energy bills as of October 2022 will be in place till April 2023.  This means that the average household bill will be capped at £2,500, but the amount you pay may be more or less, depending on type of property, number of rooms, and energy efficiency of the building. The cap is on the standard unit charge of electricity and gas, not on the actual annual bill. This has been done automatically, you don’t need to do anything. The latest is that this will in place till April 2023, at which point energy bill support will be reviewed. 
  • A total of £400 energy payments in winter 2022-23 to combat increasing energy prices.  Depending on your meter, this will be paid onto your bills or onto your account directly. If you have a traditional payment meter, you can cash in a voucher at the Post Office or other top-up centre. If you’re in Halls or Purpose Built Student Accommodation, the Government has not made it clear what support (if any) you are entitled to. If this is ever clarified, we will update the guide. If you live in private accommodation and your bills are included in your rent, the UK Government has legislated that   landlords must pass this £400 onto tenants. Payments will be made every month from October 2022-March 2023 
  • Additional cost of living payments have been brought in for 
    • Low income households who receive various benefits to a total of £650. The first payment was made directly to bank accounts in July
    • Some people on disability benefits will have received £150 on 20th September 

Scottish Government Actions

  • A   rent freeze   is in place till 30th March 2023 meaning that landlords cannot increase rents for tenants within this period.
  • Moratorium on evictions  – this means that the landlord has to meet further requirements in order to evict you this winter. There are some clauses whereby an eviction will be allowed in cases of anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, or rent arrears. 
  • Scotrail prices  have been frozen till at least March 2023
  • The Scottish Child Payment  will increase from £20 to £25 a week from 14th November, and from that date it will also be open to all children under the age of 16  
  • The Cost of Living website  has information on support available in the cost of living crisis. There’s information on energy bills, benefits, children and families, debt, money, health and wellbeing, disability, and older people. 

What the University and Students’ Association are doing

The University has set up a Cost of Living Taskforce, which includes representation from the Students’ Association, which is focussing on:

  • Low cost and free provision of food and drink
  • Access to warm social spaces
  • Supporting access to part time employment
  • Working with student groups to promote lower cost and more sustainable groceries.

The University is creating a  Cost of Living  webpage  which will be kept up to date with the latest information on provision. Once it is live we will link it here.