Expert for saving money Founder Martin Lewis has suggested that Rishi Sunak “give with one hand and remove with the other” after the chancellor announced that those receiving disability benefits would receive £ 150 in extra support – just as hundreds of thousands of disabled people are being cut off from the warm home rebate system.
Nearly 300,000 disabled people are losing state aid to reduce their fuel costs, with stricter eligibility rules taking away the flagship rebate from applicants for a host of disability benefits, as their incomes are judged to be too high.
But in Thursday’s cost of living announcement, Sunak said that disabled people facing “extra costs in their daily lives” would be sent, from September, an extra one-time fee for the cost of living for the disabled. worth £ 150 – worth a total of £ 900m.
As an echo of criticism from charities, Lewis asked the Chancellor, “Do you do with one hand and remove with another?”
Mr Sunak replied: “The discount system for warm homes works completely separately from everything else I have announced today.”
Mr Lewis said: “No, but there has been a change, so that people with disabilities are removed from it, so you give them £ 150 but they lose the discount on warm homes.”
Mr Sunak replied: “In total, what happens to the warm home discount is that it is increased by, I think, about 700,000 people.”
In response to the Chancellor, Mr Lewis said that “the net profit for these people is zero” and urged him to look at the policy again.
Ministers say the warm-up system for hot homes will better target fuel poverty and help another 160,000 people with a long-term illness or disability – while increasing payments by £ 10 to £ 150.
However, they have rejected appeals to continue to help applicants for disability living allowance (DLA) and personal independence payments (PIP), regardless of income, as they all face higher living costs.
Non-profit organizations for the disabled have warned that the measures described by the Chancellor on Thursday do not go far enough, especially with the loss of the discount for warm homes.
Gemma Hope, Head of Policy at Leonard Cheshire, said: “While we really welcome the measures announced today, the truth of the matter is that they are really only offering short-term solutions to a long-term problem.
“The reality is that over half a million disabled people already live on just £ 10 a week on bills.
“And when you take into account future energy price increases later this year, and the fact that thousands of disabled people will lose their warm housing discount by the autumn, already stretched budgets must go even further. It’s just not profitable. “
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