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UK News

Christian charity pray that people will seek financial help, as government give £400 energy bill discount

by Alex Collett

The government have announced the details of a £400 energy bill discount, aimed to help around 29-million households. 

The £400 discount, administered by energy suppliers, will be paid over the course of six months starting in October, to ensure consumers receive financial support throughout the winter months.

All households in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible.

Paul Walmsley, Christian's Against Poverty (CAP) energy manager told Premier that while the discount is welcome, he doesn't think it's enough to help families: "I think it's important to note that when the former chancellor announced this, earlier in the year, things were looking a little bit different in terms of the forecasts for October.

"There's been a significant increase in what the forecast price cap could be coming up this October and so there is still a bit of a concern, that for those who are on the lowest incomes, those who are finding finances quite difficult and challenging at the moment, that this may not be enough. 

"At the moment, it could still need some more to top that up. 

"So while the support is good, very generous, there are some concerns still that it might not be quite enough to cover the anticipated rises in October."

With soaring energy prices and spiking inflation, this season has been known as the worst cost of living crisis for decades. 

Mr Walmsley wants the government to do more: "We're in a situation where we really do need the government to act and to really strongly consider making some adjustments to the scheme to increase the amount that's been offered or to provide a little bit more support. 

"In terms of the way that we as Christians and church can respond well, (CAP) are running a right to MP action at the moment where we are trying to encourage more to be done at a government level.

"We're trying to encourage MPs to, to kind of raise their voices on this subject.

Mr Walmsley wants Christians to pray for people who are feeling financially pressured and to seek help where they can: "Prayer is really important at times like this and it is the sort of time where the church can really play a big role in these sorts of things. 

"If I was to ask for prayer, for one thing, it would be for people to pick up the phone and make the phone calls that they need to make, whether that's to their energy company to have a conversation with them, or to just be convicted that actually they do need to seek extra help at the moment. 

"People tend to wait far too long before seeking help for this sort of thing as well. 

"So I would really encourage people to, to seek that kind of wisdom, to help people understand that actually, it's the right time to seek help, and not to wait on that and wait for it to get worse."

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