PIP crackdowns and fines for cat owners: Key UK financial updates for June 2024

All the changes coming to your finances - from benefit claimants to couples to cat owners - have been revealed ahead of the sixth month of the year.
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Nine changes to money and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits set to take effect in June have been unveiled. These alterations, affecting everyone from benefit recipients to couples and cat owners, have been disclosed ahead of the year's sixth month.

The DWP's adjustments to benefit rates are due before the new month begins, coinciding with a clampdown on PIP, and preceding the next General Election on 4 July. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will face the electorate at the start of the seventh month of the year, alongside Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Before then, some of the impending financial shifts include new cost of living payments for individuals living in certain areas. An imminent announcement regarding the energy price cap could also affect your bills.

Abolishment of Multiple Dwellings Relief tax break - June 1

The Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR) tax break is set to be abolished on 1 June. Since 2011, MDR has been available for qualifying purchases of two or more dwellings in a single transaction or a series of linked transactions.

When MDR applies, Stamp Duty is calculated based on the average property value rather than the total value of the properties, reports Birmingham Live.

The Stamp Duty payable is determined by adding up the total price of the dwellings, calculating the Stamp Duty on the average price, and then multiplying this figure by the number of dwellings. This method results in substantial savings as the purchaser effectively benefits from the lower rate bands of SDLT multiple times.

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has justified the abolition of MDR, stating that there is no evidence to suggest it encourages residential property investment or significantly impacts housing supply. He also pointed out that MDR has complicated Stamp Duty, with numerous cases being taken to the tax tribunal in recent years.

New banknotes - June 5

New banknotes featuring a portrait of King Charles III will be issued from 5 June 2024. The King's portrait will be added to the existing designs of all four denominations (£5, £10, £20, and £50), with no other alterations to the current designs.

Banknotes bearing the portrait of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be legal tender and will circulate alongside those featuring King Charles III.

These new banknotes will only be printed to replace worn ones and to meet any increase in demand for banknotes.

Cat owners could be fined up to £500 - June 10

From 10 June 2024, all pet cats in England must be microchipped. According to the new regulations, cats must be microchipped before they reach 20 weeks of age, excluding unowned cats such as feral and community cats.

Indoor-only cats are also required to be microchipped. As part of these new rules, owners must keep their contact details updated on a Defra-approved microchipping database.

If you fail to meet the June deadline, under the new law, you'll be given a 21-day grace period to have your cat microchipped. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £500.

Currently, this microchipping law is only being implemented in England, but we will persist in our campaign for its introduction in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Inflation - June 19

The initial four inflation figures for the year, covering January, February, March and April, were published on 14 February, 20 March, 17 April and 22 May. Here are the dates for the remainder of 2024:.

Bank of England interest rate announcement - June 20

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members are scheduled to reassess the national interest rate on June 20. At their meeting concluding on 8 May 2024, the MPC voted by a majority of 72 to keep the Bank Rate at 5.25%.

Two members favoured a reduction in the Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 5%.

The Committee's revised forecasts for activity and inflation are detailed in the accompanying May Monetary Policy Report and are based on a market-implied path for the Bank Rate that decreases from 514% to 334% by the end of the forecast period, compared with an endpoint of 314% in February.

Changes to Debt Relief Orders - June 28

The government has announced that the criteria for obtaining a DRO will change from 28 June 2024. From this date, you may be eligible for a DRO if your debt is £50,000 or less and if you own a vehicle valued at less than £4,000, it does not need to be included in your assets.

If you're in debt to the tune of £30,000 to £50,000, it might be wise to hold off on applying for a DRO until after the rule changes come into effect.

Household Support Fund - ongoing

The Household Support Fund is continuing to provide aid, with Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council offering a £145 payment to households facing financial difficulties. The fund operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

The council has said: "This is a discretionary fund, allocated on a case by case basis by the delivery partners, to mitigate financial hardship. To be eligible, applicants must be in financial need, resident in the borough and over 18. The council will review all applications."

Meter reading day - June 30

Remember to submit your meter reading by June 30 to ensure you're not overcharged. While you can still submit readings a few days later, and some companies accept backdated readings from on or before July 1, it's best to do it as soon as possible to avoid disputes.

DWP benefit rate rise - June

Benefit rates, as announced in last year's Autumn Statement, are set to increase by 6.7% this April. This hike includes payments such as Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Carer's Allowance, and Pension Credit.

Most recipients experienced this increase in their April payments, but those on Universal Credit may have to wait until May or even another month to see the change.

The calculation of Universal Credit is done on a monthly basis, taking into account your circumstances during what are termed as "assessment periods". If there's a change in your circumstances, the amount of Universal Credit you receive that month could alter.

Typically, your Universal Credit payment arrives seven days post each monthly assessment period. For those whose assessment periods commenced prior to the rise on April 8, they will witness the benefits increase in May.

However, for those whose assessment period began after, the rise won't be visible until June.