Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire, said:
“Now the leadership race is over, the new Prime Minister must take immediate action on the cost of living crisis, targeting those most in need right now. This is vital for so many people – especially those on low incomes and disabled people, who are hit particularly hard by increasing prices. Given next month’s 80% rise in the energy price cap, there is no time to waste. With many disabled people already choosing between essential things like charging their wheelchair or eating a meal, the new Prime Minister must act quickly by increasing benefits in line with inflation. The government must restore eligibility for the Warm Home Discount for everyone receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The government also needs to work with Ofgem and energy companies to create a social tariff for disabled people who have high energy usage due to their disability.
While Liz Truss recently acknowledged the need for social care funding during the leadership race, both social care and the NHS need much more than is currently committed. We need clear plans so disabled people of all ages can get the crucial support they need – enabling them to live their lives, go to work and see their family and friends. A sustainable funding plan for social care is crucial, alongside a firm commitment that recent social care reforms will be implemented. An August report from the Levelling Up Committee showed social care needs at least an additional £7.1 billion just to plug existing gaps in funding. The new Prime Minister must urgently map out long-term solutions for social care funding so disabled people can live their lives to the full.