News & Events

Good news for pre-payment Gas and Electricity customers. 

From July 2023, if you pay on a prepay meter, you’ll only pay what is necessary for the gas and electricity used, similar to how those with Direct Debits pay.

How to stay safe from scammers and fraudsters 

The company WHICH has introduced a Scam Tracker to help you keep up to date with the latest scams.

Click here to stay informed on the latest scams.

Here are a few recent scams to be aware of: 

  • The Halifax Scam: If you receive a text message that appear to be from Halifax, asking you to confirm a payment you have recently made and gives you a number to call, don’t call that number. Contact Halifax directly by calling the number on the back of your bank card.
  • The Netflix Scam: If you receive an email from Netflix to say your subscription has been suspended due to an unauthorized payment, do not click on any links within the email. Instead, you can log into your Netflix account to check.
  • The Microsoft Scam: If you receive a message from Microsoft saying your device has been infected and to call a number, do not call it. You can use your computer settings to run a virus check, but you shouldn’t need to call Microsoft.

The Household Support Fund (HSF) – what is it and could it help you during difficult financial times? The governments has given the HSF to each local council to help during the Cost of Living crisis. It was recently extended to March 2024.

Residents can apply to their local council for help with emergency items, including food, gas and electricity, white goods etc. Each council has its own scheme.

Apply for the Housing Support Fund with Croydon Council.

Apply for the Household Support Fund with Sutton Council.

Apply for the Household Support Fund with Bromley Council.

Please note: due to high demand, the councils will close applications from time to time. If you need help, please don’t delay in completing an application.

Changes to childcare costs for some Universal Credit claimants from 28 June.

Some people who get Universal Credit (US) will be entitled to more help with child care costs. This will benefit working parents who are paying more than the maximum amount of child care costs covered by UC.

UC currently pays 85% of the total cost of child care, which is staying the same. Universal Credit used to pay up to a maximum of £760 per month for one child and £1,304 for two or more children. This maximum amount is increasing by 47% to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children.

There are also changes to when childcare costs are paid when you start a job or if your hours increase, which should help with that initial payment & rise in childcare costs.

For more information on Universal Credit and the changes to Child Care costs, please visit the government website.

Migration from old/legacy benefits onto Universal Credit

Eventually, working-age people will be transferred from their existing means-tested benefits (child tax credits, working tax credits, income-related ESA, income-related JSA, income support and housing benefit) onto Universal Credit. This is not a choice, and if you don’t transfer when instructed to by DWP, your benefits will stop altogether.

For those on contribution benefits (contribution ESA and contribution JSA), these are not included in the migration onto Universal Credit. No other benefits are affected, and you will continue to receive these as usual.

Tax credit only claimants will be the first to be moved from August 2023

If the only benefit you claim from the 6 highlighted above is a tax credit, then you will be migrated from August 2023. If you claim more than one of these highlighted benefits, you are not one of these people.

Please note no one should be worse off on Universal Credit than they were on their ‘old’ benefits. This is known as Transitional Protection. If you are worried or receive a letter about switching to UC, please do get in touch with our Welfare Advisor by calling 07384255630 or emailing

Government announces a 2-year extension to ‘top up’ gaps in your National Insurance Contributions and possibly increase your State Pension. 

On 12 June, the government announced that people now have an additional 2 years, until April 2025, to voluntarily fill in any gaps in their National Insurance Record. You may have periods when you were:

  • not working, e.g. due to sickness, taking care of a child, caring for someone etc.
  • not earning sufficiently
  • self-employed and not paying ‘enough’ of the right kind of contributions.

Please note that some of these ‘gaps’ would have been filled in if you were claiming certain other benefits.

If you want to find out if you have gaps in your record or view your State Pension forecast, you will need to sign up for Government Gateway online. Please do get in touch if you need help to do this.

Visit the website to find out more.



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