Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of a cost of living support package yesterday (Thursday, 26 May), Kirsty Matthews, CEO of learning disability charity Hft, said:
We are glad to see that disabled people were prioritised in yesterday’s announcement as part of a new £15 billion cost of living support package, and welcome the extra financial support they will receive in response to the cost of living crisis.
However, the additional living costs faced by people with a learning disability– for essential things like heating to manage their conditions and travelling in accessible taxis – are a long-term problem. While the one-off payments are timely in light of the current high rate of inflation, they simply do not provide the continued financial support disabled people need to cover the ‘disability price tag’.
We’re also concerned about people with learning disabilities who will miss out on this support because they aren’t on income-related benefits. The reduced £150 payment to those only on disability benefits will fall short of the ever-increasing cost of living, particularly when you add on the additional burden of costs experienced by disabled people.
The Social Market Foundation’s report ‘Time to think again‘ found that more than four in 10 people (42%) living in families that rely on disability benefits are in poverty. It is vital that the government implement long-term, targeted support for disabled people and ensure that benefits keep pace with inflation.