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  • Coronavirus Financial Impact Tracker Report

    Standard Life Foundation publishes a regular financial impact tracker to monitor the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and support offered from the government, on people's finances. 

    Researchers from YouGov question 6,500 people across the UK on how their personal and household finances have been affected by the pandemic and the likely impact it will have over the next few months. They are asked about their income, payment of bills, borrowing, debt, savings and other financial changes, including their ability to pay for essentials such as food.

    Each report is produced by a team from the University of Bristol and is available here.

    In the latest report which is calling for creditors to have sympathetic and creative forbearance measures. Find out more about Wessex Water schemes.

    Tailored forbearance strategies - Case study: Wessex Water

    During the pandemic Wessex Water has offered households that are having short-term payment problems both payment breaks and flexible payment plans, where reduced payments are made for an agreed period of time.  As these arrangements come to an end, they are proactively contacting customers and the majority have either now paid the money owed or have agreed a new flexible payment arrangement.  Customers without a new arrangement have been contacted by phone or by letter to advise them to seek debt advice and apply for their wide range of assistance and forbearance schemes available to households unable to pay their water bills. This includes three social tariffs including: Assist, WaterSure Plus and Pension Credit Discount, and Restart, which supports households with arrears on charges that they cannot repay.

    • Flexiplan offers flexible payment plans to households who are having short-term problems paying their bill. Households make reduced-amount payments towards their water bill for an agreed period of time and catch up on payments later.
    • Assist aims to help households in extreme financial difficulty who cannot afford their water bill and sets a lower level of payments based on the customer's ability to pay. This requires a statement of income, expenditure, any other debt and savings, compiled by an advice agency. It can be used alongside the Restart scheme.
    • WaterSure Plus is a reduced tariff for customers receiving social security benefits or tax credits who are on a water meter and need to use a large amount of water either for medical reasons or because they have three or more children under the age of 19 living at home.
    • Pension Credit Discount is a 20% discount on the water bills of households either receiving Pension Credit or have the State Pension as their only source of income.
    • Restart is for households with a significant water debt that they cannot repay and who can afford their ongoing bills - including reduced bills under the Assist scheme. As with Assist, access is through advice agencies. If agreed charges are paid for the current year, the outstanding debt is reduced by an equivalent amount at the end of the year. If the agreed charges are paid for a second year, the outstanding debt is written off. As with Assist, access is through advice agencies.

    Wessex Water also provides financial support to local and national advice agencies and works closely with them in the administration of these schemes.

    Standard life foundation