On Friday chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng made a statement on the cost-of-living crisis and the plans the government has to support people across the country through the mini-Budget. This includes changes to benefits that many disabled people depend upon.
The chancellors have been criticised by some ( Carers, single mums and the disabled to be hit by ‘evil’ benefits crackdown – YorkshireLive (examinerlive.co.uk)) because of the impact and lack of action to help those struggling with the rise in cost most.
Under new plans, the government is going to strengthen the sanctions regime that currently affects people on Universal Credit (UC). This will mean people who do not fulfil their job-search commitments without ‘good reason’ could see reductions in their benefits. Changes will also have an impact on what is expected of those in receipt of Universal Credit in regards to applying for jobs, attending interviews and increasing working hours.
Alongside this, the government says it is going to increase the support and incentives for those who receive Universal Credit “Administrative Earnings Threshold to 15 hours a week at National Living Wage for an individual claimant (and 24 hours a week for couples) from January 2023”. (The Growth Plan 2022: documents – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
How has this been received by people?
When we asked our Twitter followers their thoughts, Broadcaster, Journalist, Musician, Access/Inclusion Expert & Wheelchair User Mik Scarlet said:
An article in the inews describes the announcement as “Victorian-style greed” and highlights again how many disabled people feel ‘ignored’ by the budget. (taken from: ‘It’s Victorian-style greed’: Disabled people struggling to get by feel ‘ignored’ by mini-Budget (inews.co.uk)
Rebecca McDonald, Chief Economist Joseph Rountree Foundation, spoke following the statement by the Chancellor echoed this feeling of forgetting those most affected by the cost of living crisis.
“Families on low incomes can’t wait for the promised benefits of economic growth to trickle down into their pockets. The energy price cap fixes bills at a level already unaffordable for many and was never going to be enough to solve the problem for those on the lowest incomes. With food rising more sharply than inflation, and no action today, it will be a bitter winter ahead.”Rebecca McDonald (taken from: Joseph Rowntree Foundation responds to the Chancellor’s fiscal statement | JRF)
For information on what support might be available, you can visit the Citizens Advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/get-help-with-the-cost-of-living/
What are your thoughts? Let’s have a conversation in the comments section.