This will raise £5 billion allowing the measures tackling the increased cost of living to go even further.
Rising energy bills are affecting us all, and will continue to do so, which is why the Energy Bills Support Scheme has been extended from £200 to £400 and is now a grant, meaning no one will have to face repayments on future bills.
However, it is right that further additional support is targeted at the most vulnerable people.
We have therefore introduced an extra £300 for pensioners who receive Winter Fuel Payments; a one-off payment of £150 for those receiving non-means tested disability payments; and a one-off £650 payment for the lowest income households.
A number of constituents have contacted me recently about housing issues and as Thirteen is one of the biggest housing providers in Hartlepool I have met with CEO Ian Wardle.
We discussed some individual cases as well as more general issues such as waiting times for repairs, anti-social behaviour, and the application method.
While I am confident that the constituents who have contacted me will see timely resolutions to their issues, I would urge anyone else with any concerns regarding housing matters to make contact with me, as well as their housing provider.
Many of you will know that as part of my role as Chair of the APPG for Maternity I regularly visit Hartlepool hospital and meet with staff from the Rowan Suite team – this week to discuss research and clinical trials.
It was great to hear that North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust is involved in so many obstetric trials, and that so many individuals get involved with the trials.
We discussed the Group B Streptococcus Trial in depth, as well as a number of others such as The Big Baby Trial and an Induction Trial.
I will be following the progression of these trials closely and I am excited to see the impact that they will have on maternity care in our area.
Finally, I have seen that many businesses and individuals are getting ready for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
I am sure I will see many of you over the bank holiday weekend – when you see me around, pop over and say hello!