First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Sunak Set to Unveil Grants to Help Britons With Cost of...

Newsdeck

World

Sunak Set to Unveil Grants to Help Britons With Cost of Living

Former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak. (Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)
By Bloomberg
29 Sep 2021 1

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is set to announce a new program of grants to help Britons struggling with the cost of living amid a surge in energy prices and as the U.K. government phases out more generous coronavirus support.

By Todd Gillespie and Alex Morales

Word Count: 442
(Bloomberg) — 

The plan is worth as much as 500 million pounds ($672 million) and may be announced in coming days, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity discussing unannounced policy. It’s designed to help poorer households cope with the cost of living over the winter, the person said. The Treasury declined to comment.

The new grants would be distributed through local authorities, replacing the Covid-19 local support grant program, which is due to end Thursday. That was designed to help vulnerable households struggling with the cost of food, energy and water bills during the coronavirus pandemic, and along with a predecessor plan last winter has paid out more than 425 million pounds to help those most in need.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has come under increasing pressure from the party’s own rank-and-file lawmakers and opposition parties to help the poorest Britons as the demands on household budgets grow, sparking warnings of a difficult winter.

Inflation is running well above the Bank of England’s 2% target, energy bills are set to jump next month, and at the same time the government is cutting benefits and ending the furlough program that’s supported more than 11 million jobs throughout the pandemic.

There’s particular concern among Members of Parliament for poorer Britons because of a series of imminent pressures on household budgets.

A price cap on domestic energy bills that protects 15 million households from soaring bills is due to go up 12% on Oct. 1, adding 139 pounds a year to the average bill. On Oct. 6, the government is ending a 20-pound-a-week uplift to universal credit benefit payments to unemployed and low-wage Britons that’s been in place throughout the pandemic. That represents a hit of more than 1,000 pounds a year to vulnerable families.

Last week, Conservative MPs Christopher Chope and Robert Halfon pushed Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to help consumers by cutting the value added sales tax on consumer energy bills. Kwarteng has declined to rule that measure out, saying it was a matter for Sunak.

As a result of the drop in benefits and rise in the cost of living, low income families face being 31 pounds a week poorer from next month, according to analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. From April, the government’s planned tax hike to pay for health and social care will cost them an additional 2.50 pounds a week, it said.

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 1

  • So much for Boris and his empty promise that Brexit would save the country a fortune and everyone would have a better life. Like all politicians, he lied!

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted