Contact’s response to the government’s mini-Budget announced today

3 mins read

Friday 23 September 2022

Tags: cost of living crisis

This morning the new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, unveiled the government’s mini-Budget and his plan to deal with the cost of living crisis.

Responding to the mini budget, Contact’s CEO Amanda Batten said:

“The raft of tax cuts announced by the Chancellor in the government’s mini-Budget do nothing to address our very real concerns for families with disabled children and the impact soaring costs are having on them.

“We were disappointed that nothing in the Chancellor’s announcement today directly addressed the extra disability costs of the families we support. These are families already incurring extra energy costs because they run life-saving and other health-related electrical equipment like ventilators and SATs monitors, which can’t be switched off.”

Tighter rules for Universal Credit claimants

Today’s mini-Budget included plans to require Universal Credit claimants who earn less than the equivalent of 15 hours a week at National Living Wage to meet regularly with their Work Coach and “take active steps to increase their earnings” – or face having their benefits reduced.

Responding to this, Amanda said: “We are also extremely concerned about government plans to tighten benefit rules for part-time workers, and we are seeking reassurance that this will not unfairly impact on unpaid carers and part-time workers who have to juggle their caring responsibilities and work.”

What we’re asking for

“The government needs to act now and provide unpaid carers with the financial support they need to cope with the cost of living crisis,” Amanda continued.

“That’s why, together with 82 other charities, we have written a letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss and signed Carer’s UK letter to the Chancellor. We want to see an immediate increase in disability benefits, as well as an Energy Assistance Payment to replace the local NHS medical grants for equipment like oxygen concentrators. This will help ensure those who need vital equipment for their survival, dignity and health get the financial help they need.”

More information and advice

Today’s mini budget follows the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this month that the cost of an average household energy bill will be capped at £2,500 for two years from 1 October.

It also comes five months after the package of support announced in May, which includes one-off payments to help families with the cost of living. Learn more about this package of support to find out about eligibility and when each payment will be made.

Read our cost of living advice to find out whether you’re eligible for financial support with your household costs.

Join us in calling on government and energy companies to help families with disabled children with their higher energy costs.