Isle of Man, Politics

Government announces Cost of Living support package

A full copy of the news release is available here but the key elements are listed below:

Electricity prices capped at current level until 31 March 2023

The majority of the Island’s electricity is generated from gas, and global price rises mean that without this intervention, which is estimated to cost up to £26 million, Manx Utilities would have needed to increase tariffs by a minimum of 70% this autumn.  This would have seen an increase to the average household bill of around £500 a year.

A third round of targeted support payments in December for those in receipt of child benefit and those on low incomes 

A second round of £2.6 million in support payments has already been announced for October 2002 and a third round will be made in December 2022 to those in receipt of child benefit and certain income-related benefits.  This will provide approximately 3,500 households with support to pay energy bills and approximately 6,000 families with support for living costs.    Government will work in the coming weeks to determine the appropriate level of support for the December payments, with a further announcement to follow.  

Capping bus fares at a maximum of £2 per journey for a three-month trial from 1 November 2022

As well as reducing transport costs, the move aims to encourage people to leave their cars at home and switch to public transport, helping to reduce carbon emissions on the Island’s roads.    The scheme may be extended beyond three months depending on the findings of the trial.  

Accelerating an £8 million programme to improve energy efficiency in homes

Work to improve energy efficiency in homes will be accelerated with £8 million in existing funding available.  Materials and equipment such as insulation, LED lightbulbs, draft excluders and thermostatic radiator valves will be available free of charge to those on lower incomes, with the potential to help up to 12,000 households.   In addition, a fund will be created to make the Island’s social housing stock more energy efficient and, subject to Tynwald approval, the Green Living Grant Scheme will be modified to include low-carbon heating alternatives such as air-source heat pumps.  Government will also employ two additional energy doctors to increase its capacity to provide households and businesses with energy saving assessments and advice.  

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