Cost of Living: Support Can’t Wait

Date posted: 30th November 2023

75 charities and voluntary organisations representing people with disabilities, including Thomas Pocklington Trust, have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer demanding action on the cost of living crisis.

They have written to Jeremy Hunt MP ahead of the Government’s Autumn Statement (22 November 2023) on the country’s finances to urge more support for disabled households through the ongoing cost of living crisis and in recognition that disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the cost of living.

The cost of living crisis has not gone away. As we approach a second winter, the situation will only get worse. Disabled people continue to be at the sharpest end, facing the double blow of low incomes and unavoidable higher costs for heating, eating, transport and other essentials.

The organisations are calling for a commitment to five key actions:

  1. All benefits to be uprated at least in line with inflation in the Autumn Statement, as is the norm.
  2. A UK Government review of how benefits are set and increased, so people can always afford the essentials, and manage the extra costs that come with disability.
  3. Additional Winter financial support targeted at disabled households with higher energy costs.
  4. Consultation on an energy social tariff under the UK Government’s commitment to develop a new approach to consumer protection in energy markets.
  5. All support to be promoted and communicated in accessible formats, including in BSL and easy read, and compatible with screen reading and magnification software, and to be available at the same time as mainstream formats.

Mike Bell, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Thomas Pocklington Trust said: “Research has found that on average disabled households face extra costs of £975 per month, including the cost of specialist equipment and higher energy use. Meanwhile, half of blind and partially sighted people are using their disability benefits to pay for every day living costs, rather than the additional costs associated with their sight loss. Too many disabled people and their families are already at breaking point and we look to the Chancellor to act next week.”

You can find a copy of the full letter to the Chancellor here.

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