The Disability Poverty Campaign Group has called for the Government to take urgent action to support people with lived experience of disability or a long-term health condition, in the light of the Chancellor’s announcements last week.
Disabled people have been left reeling as the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reigned in the two-year Energy Price Guarantee, shortening the cap to six months.
The Disability Poverty Campaign Group (DPCG) is a group led by Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), that has come together to inform, challenge and campaign for action to help Disabled people in the face of increasing poverty as a result of fuel and food costs.
Disability Positive works with DPCG as part of our membership of Cheshire Disabled People’s Panel.
On Monday 17 October, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt spoke of “difficult decisions on tax and spending, and that there would have to be cuts” and would not commit to a Benefit rise of 10% to match inflation.
Many disabled people use more energy than non-disabled people and many also live on benefits which have not kept up with the cost of living.
With price rises in fuel and food, and social care charge-related debt rising, the gap between income and expenditure for the community is now completely unacceptable.
Dan White, speaking on behalf of the DPCG said:
“Jeremy Hunt is another Chancellor out of touch and unwilling to do the right thing for Disabled people across the UK.
“We recently wrote to the Prime Minister in stark terms explaining the growing crisis for Disabled people, however it appears our letter was ignored. The words of the Chancellor yesterday served only to show that the Government has no idea of the situation for Disabled people.”
The DPCG is calling on the Government to end threats of further austerity and poverty, for benefits to rise match inflation and for there to be much stronger help on energy costs.
Dan White continued: “Appropriate support for Disabled people is essential. Without it, there is a real risk that this winter will see significant numbers of deaths. The Government must act now on the information that is readily available to them.”
“The DPCG calls again on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to respond to our letter, and to take up our offer to collaborate on urgently required solutions. During the pandemic, the Government routinely failed to act on the advice of our organisations about the experiences of Disabled People. We must not allow this to happen again. Disabled People’s lives depend on being at the forefront of Government action planning in this ongoing cost of living crisis.”
You can read the letter to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt below