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DWP launches scheme to urge internet providers to offer social tariffs

Megan Robinson
August 15, 2022

For access to most social tariffs, claimants have to prove their entitlement as often as once a month by providing screenshots or letters from the Jobcentre to their provider

The government is encouraging internet providers to offer social tariffs to those on low incomes as the cost of living crisis worsens.

A new scheme will be launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) this week, which allows internet providers to check if customers are receiving benefits that make them eligible for more financial support.

The scheme has so far been supported by Virgin Media O2, and the government believes it could save some households hundreds of pounds a year.

However, government figures reveal that despite many providers offering social tariffs, only 1.2 per cent of those eligible are applying. 

The government’s cost of living business tsar David Buttress said: “Times are tough and families across the country are feeling the pinch, so we’re making it easier for companies to reduce phone and broadband bills for struggling families.” 

“Some of the biggest network operators have already committed to take advantage of this new scheme, and we want to see other providers follow their lead so that everyone eligible for a social tariff can access one.

“This is just one of the ways that we’re working with businesses to offer help through our Help for Households campaign, building on the comprehensive £37bn package of support already being provided by the government.”

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