Help is available for Bedford people as financial pressure builds this winter

Gas price rises, Covid-19 and the removal of the Universal Credit uplift are all combining to make people feel the pinch

By Laura Hutchinson
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 5:01 pm

Tough times could be ahead as the impact of Covid-19, gas price increases and the scrapping of the £20 Universal Credit uplift combine to put pressure on the pocket.

But Bedford Borough Council is reminding people that help is available - and urging them to check they're getting all the support they're eligible for.

On its website, the council has pulled together the local and national support that Bedford people can use if they are facing hardship.

Financial help is available if you're struggling

And it will be running a social media campaign to make sure people are informed.

The help available includes council tax support where residents on the lowest incomes in Bedford borough can get support to reduce their council tax bills.

A think tank has warned that nationally, council tax bills could be set to rise under current government spending plans, in order to keep services running at pre-pandemic levels.

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This webpage also has information about how to apply for Universal Credit, and the eligibility criteria for free school meals.

And the council can even provide more immediate financial support through hardship support and crisis grants, to help people manage through an emergency if they have low income and are in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

Bedford Citizens Advice can also offer free and confidential help with managing your money, dealing with debts and a wide range of other advice.

Cllr Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Welfare at Bedford Borough Council said: “These are difficult times for people with the impact of Covid-19, rising gas prices as we head into winter, and the removal of the £20 uplift for those on Universal Credit.

“I want to make sure that everyone can find out about the help and support that is available and would encourage people to take a look at the webpage.”