DR UK reaction to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement
The Government has announced in the Autumn Statement that it will increase benefits, in line with September’s inflation rate, from April.
The Statement also said that there will be meagre help with energy for people on disability benefits – UC claimants will receive £900 in help, but people on disability benefits will only receive £150.
DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “The Government is committing to investment in public services and to increase social care and education funding. But it’s not clear that those increases will do anything other than leaving us running to stand still. We do not think they will be anywhere near enough to benefit the huge numbers of Disabled children and adults currently being denied services.
“Before the cost of living crisis, the disability living gap meant that Disabled people were paying on average £583 per month more on living expenses. That figure has now shot through the roof, but Disabled people are still only being thrown peanuts.
“PIP and disability legacy benefits have not met the gap for years due to a lack of meaningful increases. £150 doesn’t touch the sides. Fuel costs are set to continue to sky rocket, essential education and care services for Disabled children and adults have already been cut to the bone pushing Local Authorities to the brink of bankruptcy.
“While the Government hasn’t completely put the knife into Disabled people, it is still twirling it between its fingers.
“We demand to be seen. We demand that the Government stops ignoring the needs of Disabled people. The Prime Minister has said he will “protect the most vulnerable”. Today, he has shown that he is not willing to go far enough to make good on his word.”
Minister for Disabled people confirms there are no plans to means test DLA or PIP
In a parliamentary answer on 30 November, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride declined to give a “categorical assurance” that the means testing of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) would not form part of the Chancellor’s 17 November Autumn Statement.
Read the Minister’s quote on not means testing DLA and PIP on our website.
Coalition of charities urge Chancellor to target unpaid carers for extra financial support
In a joint open letter, Carers UK, together with 65 other organisations including DR UK, Age UK and the MS Society, is urging the Government to provide unpaid carers with targeted financial support in the upcoming Autumn Statement.
There are approximately 10.6 million people providing unpaid care in the UK. Those receiving carer’s allowance and providing over 35 hours of care each week are particularly vulnerable to financial difficulties due to their limited ability to earn an income.
They cannot cut back on essential expenditure without potentially compromising the safety of the person they are caring for.
Read the full story about the open letter to support carers on our website.
Carers facing unprecedented pressure on their finances
A new survey report from Carers UK highlights that the cost of living crisis has led to a quarter of carers saying they were cutting back on essentials such as food or heating, with 93% who were struggling to make ends meet saying that the increase in the cost of living was having a negative impact on their mental and/or physical health.
The report also found that two-thirds of those waiting for NHS treatment said that waiting is having a negative impact on their physical or mental health, and almost half unable to have a break from their caring role at all.
Read the full story on carers on our website.
TUC report exposes disability pay gap
A report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has found that the disability pay gap is rising. The TUC is calling on the Government to introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting.
Read the full disability pay gap story, including the TUC’s full report, on our website.
New research highlights barriers to SEND support
Two new research reports have been published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Disability Policy Centre (DPC) exposing the barriers that Disabled young people are facing when trying to access reasonable adjustments and support in education.
Read the full SEND support story on our website.
The Grenfell Inquiry comes to an end
After 400 days, the Grenfell Inquiry has ended – but there is still no justice for victims.
Read the full Grenfell Inquiry story on our website.