Since we last reported on the Government’s mini-budget announcement there has been the transition to a new Chancellor and statement. As a result, some of the previously discussed factors that will impact disabled people have changed.
The most notable of these changes is the support for energy prices. Previously the period of support was extended to two years, however, this support will now only last 6 months with a review to take place to determine longer-term measures. Scope said that the Government has “created yet more uncertainty for disabled people.” Due to benefit support and the limited reassurance, this will give to people ”after an already turbulent year”. The charity claimed that Monday’s announcement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was an effort to reassure the markets rather than individuals.
There have been some who suggest that the announcement of the plans signifies a new look and brand of austerity, which if cuts to public services happen will undoubtedly have an impact on disabled people.
Although Monday saw the reversal to a number of the previous Chancellor’s plans, many who depend on benefit payments like Universal Credit must wait for the full budget later this month to see if their payments will rise with inflation. This comes as experts voice concern that “millions on benefits will be pushed further into poverty if their payments are not increased to match inflation from April next year.”
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown estimated that if benefits are not to rise with inflation and go up instead by wages that this will lead to an increase of 5.5% rather 9%, which will leave “struggling families £40 a week worse off, or £2,000 a year.”
For information on what support might be available, you can visit the Citizens Advice website.
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