4 money changes coming in May 2023 – from Universal Credit to rising interest

April 2023 has seen a vast array of bill changes as the cost of living crisis continues to grip the nation.

Bill increases across the board have left many struggling to make ends meet across the UK.

And more changes that will affect our bank balances are set to take place over the coming weeks.

May will see a number of changes and price increases introduced in different areas – but hope may be in sight.

Changes to benefits and an impending cost of living payment could help to ease the strain on those struggling.

Here’s what you need to know about money changes coming in May 2023.

Cost of Living payment

Around one million eligible people will receive a cost of living payment next month (May).

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The payment of £301 will be a huge support for many struggling with the ongoing crisis, which has seen several bills rise this April, including water bills, energy bills and council tax.

The payment will be paid into most customers’ bank accounts between Tuesday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 9 across the United Kingdom.

This payment will be the first of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible.

To be eligible, you must have received a payment of tax credits between January 26 and February 25, 2023, or later be found to have been entitled to a payment for this period.

Universal Credit

After Universal Credit rises from April, it is set to see another major shake-up next month.

From May 9, millions of recipients of ‘old style’ benefits will be migrated over to Universal Credit as the former are phased out.

Those that receive Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, and Housing Benefit will all see their benefits change.

Claimants who receive their benefits will be sent a ‘migration notice’ over the coming weeks, giving them a three-month deadline to claim Universal Credit or face having their benefits stopped.

Energy Bill Support Scheme

The Energy Bill Support Scheme began rolling out in October 2022 giving households £400 to help with the cost of rising bills.

It is a government-funded scheme, with applications open for those who are eligible if they do not automatically receive the money.

The scheme closes to new applications on May 31, but there is still time to take advantage of the helping hand.

The eligibility criteria for this funding is:

  • The household that supports is being claimed for is the main or only home address of the person to receive the support
  • The resident or applicant is responsible for paying the household energy bill. This means either directly or as part of a service charge, rent, or other arrangement and may have the impact of increased energy bills costs passed on to them between October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023
  • The household is not already receiving EBSS payments in whole or in part
  • The household is not a business premises or other form of non-domestic premises. It must be used solely or mainly for domestic purposes. This is except for businesses whose main business activity is to provide long-term residential accommodation (landlords, etc.)

Interest rates

Interest rates will continue to be a topic of discussion after they rose to 4.25% in March.

It marked the 11th consecutive increase in the base rate over the last 18 months.

By August, the Bank of England (BoE) predicts the rate will rise to a high of 4.6% before beginning to decrease over the next five years.

Mortgage expert Kellie Steed previously explained to Metro.co.uk what the rising interest rate will mean for homeowners.

Ms Steed, from Uswitch.com, said: ‘If the end of your fixed-rate deal is approaching, it’s a tough call whether to lock in a new deal now, as the impact of current global economic instability’s effects on the BoE MPC’s next decision is difficult to gauge.

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‘That said, fixed-rates are in about the best position since they began to rise significantly back in October 2022, so if you’re within six months of the end of your current deal, there’s absolutely no harm in tying in the most attractive rate currently available.

‘You can always switch deals again should a better rate become available before your end date.

‘Those currently on a tracker can expect a 0.25% rise in their rate and should definitely keep a close eye on rates in the weeks approaching the next base rate decision, as it’s currently difficult to predict the MPC’s next move in May.’

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