Disability sector urges Chancellor to support disabled households in Autumn Statement
A joint letter from the disability sector calls for urgent support with the cost of living crisis for disabled people and people with long-term conditions.
We’ve joined over 75 national and regional disability and sight loss charities in writing to the Chancellor to call for urgent action in the UK government’s Autumn Statement to support disabled households through the ongoing cost of living crisis, in recognition that disabled people have been disproportionately affected.
Our calls include:
- all benefits to be uprated at least in line with inflation in the Autumn Statement
- 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
- additional winter financial support targeted at disabled households with higher energy costs
- consultation on an energy social tariff under the UK government’s commitment to develop a new approach to consumer protection in energy markets
- all support to be promoted and communicated in accessible formats, including in British Sign Language and easy read, compatible with screen reading and magnification software, and available at the same time as mainstream formats
Disabled people continue to be at the sharpest end of the cost of living crisis, facing the double blow of low incomes and unavoidable higher costs for heating, eating, transport and other essentials.
Disability charities Sense and Scope have both carried out research on the subject.
Sense’s research found that 68 per cent of disabled people are worried they’ll have to skip meals to cope this winter, and 58 per cent fear they’ll be forced to take out loans.
Scope’s 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 everyday living costs, rather than the additional costs associated with their sight loss.
Benefits must be set at a level that means disabled people can afford the essentials, such as putting food on the table, heating their homes, and charging vital equipment.
You can download the full letter below or view it on the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group website.
The letter has been signed by:
4 Sight Vision Support
Action for Kids (AFK)
Blind Veterans UK
Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People
Camphill Village Trust
Community Integrated Care
Devon in Sight
East Cheshire Eye Society
Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation
Forth Valley Sensory Centre
Golden Lane Housing
Headway East London
Imagine Act and Succeed
Jewish Blind & Disabled
Kent Association for the Blind
Learning Disability England
Learning Disability London
New Prospects Association
Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC)
Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey
Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind
Sight Loss Shropshire
Sight Support Derbyshire
Sight Support West of England
The Northam Care Trust
Thomas Pocklington Trust
Vision Support Barrow and District
Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG)
Your Support Matters CIC