Weekly Digest – 6 April 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

UK Travellers Face Disruption

Passengers faced long queues at Heathrow and Manchester airports as the Easter holidays got underway. Travellers vented frustration on social media as COVID-19 checks, high passenger volumes, staff shortages, and e-gate problems meant long waits for check-in.

Household Support Fund Doubled

The Household Support Fund was doubled to £1 billion, as the government takes further steps to help pensioners and families with the rising cost of living. The extension will run for six months to the end of September. If you want to find out what help is available in your area through the Household Support Fund, contact your local council.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

The government recognises that many households need support to help deal with rising energy bills, which is why it is providing a package of support worth £9.1 billion from 2022 to 2023 which includes the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Under this scheme, domestic electricity customers will receive a £200 reduction in their electricity costs from this October.

Economy Surges Higher in March

A rise in demand for leisure and entertainment activities last month helped the economy grow more than had been expected, according to the S&P Global/CIPS UK Services PMI survey. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the dire inflation picture by forcing up further key global commodity costs including oil and natural gas.

Government Seeks to Make COVID Business Loan Scheme Permanent

Government officials are in talks with bankers to provide a permanent replacement for the various programmes that helped banks lend to struggling companies during the pandemic. The new loan guarantee scheme is expected to focus on small and medium-sized enterprises that would otherwise struggle to find financing at affordable terms.

Deadline Extension for Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Scheme

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed that it is proposing a 12-month extension to the non-domestic RHI’s application deadline, moving the date from 31 March 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Also set to be extended are the second and third allocations of the scheme’s tariff guarantee, which will allow organisations to secure a fixed tariff before their installation is commissioned and accredited.

£500 Million Plan for Jobs Expansion

Workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed individuals over 50 years old will be supported back into work as part of more than £500m expansion of the government’s Plan for Jobs. People earning the lowest wages will also benefit and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year as part of the new package.

Starting in April 2022, the Government is enhancing its programme of support for workers on Universal Credit.

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