We welcome the UK Government’s new cost of living support which will help families of seriously ill children and young people.
The package of support, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Thursday 26 May, will provide the following:
- A one-off payment of £150 in September for people who receive disability benefits including Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments.
- A doubling of the Energy Bills Support Scheme to a one-off payment of £400; this had initially been announced as a £200 loan, but will now be made as a grant, which will not be recovered through higher bills in future years.
- £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits.
- £500 million increase and extension of Household Support Fund to support people who need additional help; this will be extended from this October to March 2023.
This support is also in addition to the £150 Council Tax rebate for households in England in Council Tax bands A-D, which was announced in February, and which millions of households have already received.
“I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement and thank him for listening to parents of seriously ill children like Dan McEvoy, says our CEO Andy Fletcher. “Research by Contact has found that families with disabled children reliant on life-saving electrical equipment are already paying £600 a year more for their energy. It is simply unacceptable that, in modern Britain, families should be forced to choose between heating, eating and keeping the equipment that their children need for life switched on.”
“As inflation soars, I call on ministers to listen closely to families of seriously ill children to understand the impact of price rises on them. Nearly two thirds of families with disabled children said before the cost of living crisis that their caring responsibilities meant they or their partner has given up paid work. This meant on average losing £21,270 from their family income. The government must make sure that these families are financially sustainable to enable them to provide the complex, 24/7 care that their children need.”
The government must make sure that these families are financially sustainable to enable them to provide the complex, 24/7 care that their children need.Andy Fletcher, CEO of Together for Short Lives