Remember that £400 that all households were going to get?

You’ll remember that earlier in the year, the Westminster government promised that “every household” in the country would get £400 to help with bills.

Jim is an Associate Editor at Wonkhe

First it promised that students in shared houses on all-inclusive bills would get the money, only to then issue guidance that revealed that students would only get it if their bills weren’t actually all-inclusive.

Then it consulted on giving the payment to students in halls, only to apparently forget to quantify them for the impact assessment, eventually resulting in students in purpose-built accommodation being excluded from the scheme on the thinnest of excuses.

That latter scheme – the “Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund” – was created because plenty of citizens don’t get a traditional domestic energy bill, and so an alternative system was developed to allow citizens to access the cash.

Those in care homes, farmers, those on heat networks, those in house boats, those in park homes, tenants in private accommodation on a non-domestic energy supply and travellers all were allowed to apply. Students weren’t.

The scheme closes this week – but a week or so ago we got figures on how well the government has been doing on getting the cash to those that are entitled. 24,000 care home residents had applied, despite the impact assessment guessing that 418,000 would be entitled.

At the weekend, the Mirror estimated that just 13 per cent of eligible families overall had applied. By May 3, excluding rejected and cancelled applications, just 120,910 had applied (out of an estimated 886,000) and 100,940 had received the money, totalling £40m.

Fuel Poverty Action slammed the “badly managed and badly advertised scheme” and called on No10 to extend the deadline by six months.

On these figures, the government could also do the right thing and extend the scheme to students – and still be under budget.

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