The government’s interventions are short-term solutions to long-term problems. They will not cushion people with a learning disability and their families from the combined rising costs of food and energy, let alone the additional costs that come with having a learning disability in the first place.

We want to see the government, the energy regulator and providers and local authorities step up and start prioritising support for people with a learning disability.  

They need to take action now to make sure that people with a learning disability aren’t priced out and forgotten.   

These are the changes we want to see:

  1. The government must increase benefits in line with inflation now to prevent real-term cuts during the cost-of-living crisis. April 2023 is too late.  
  2. The government should put ambitious plans in place to make energy affordable for people with a learning disability on low incomes. They should immediately extend the Warm Home Discount Scheme to all disabled people, but also explore the feasibility of social energy tariffs for those on low incomes.   
  3. The government must ensure levels of benefits fully support disabled people with the costs they face, for this crisis and into the future.  
  4. The government must make it clear to local authorities that they cannot take away the cost-of-living payments from social care users in charges for social care. 
  5. The government, energy providers and local authorities need to do more to make sure they are providing information in accessible formats in line with their responsibilities under the Equality Act.
Sources:
[1] Scope, 2019 (Disability Price Tag report)
[2] Department of Work and Pensions, 2021 (The Employment of Disabled People 2021)
[3] Social market foundation, 2021 (Time to think again: disability benefits and support after COVID-19)
[4] The Trussell Trust, 2021 (The State of Hunger, June 2021)
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