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Westminster London

UK Government announces new funding measures to address cost of living crisis

Jonathan Blades

Today, the Chancellor announced a £15 billion package of targeted government support to help with the rising cost of living. This includes support for disabled people and people on benefits. 

The UK Government confirmed it will introduce new measures to address the cost of living crisis. This follows growing political pressure to address the increasing costs people are facing due to rising inflation. 

We know the cost of living crisis is having a devastating impact on lots of people living with MS. We’re hearing from people with MS who’ve been left in need of everyday essentials, like food, transport and medication. 

What were the new measures that were announced? 

The Chancellor announced the following measures, which the UK government say will target support for the most vulnerable.  

  • All households will receive a £400 discount on energy bills. Energy bill payers do not need to repay this. 

  • Eight million of the lowest income families will also get a one-off payment of £650 – this includes people who get Universal Credit or legacy benefits like Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The payment will be in two lumps sums, the first in July and the second in the autumn, with payments from HMRC for those on tax credits shortly after. The payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards. 

  • In September there will be a one-off disability cost of living payment of £150 to people claiming disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and pensioners will get £300 

Most of the measures announced will apply UK-wide with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receiving increased funding. 

Short term solutions to a long term problem 

Our Policy Manager, Anastasia Berry says: “As the cost of living crisis rages on – with devastating consequences for many people with MS – we’re relieved to finally be seeing some action from the Chancellor. MS is relentless, painful and exhausting, and many living with the condition are increasingly being forced to go without essentials like food and medication. News the government will provide immediate support to people who need it most, including the 2.2 million on legacy benefits who have been cruelly overlooked for two years, will come as some relief. 

“We also welcome the one-off disability payment of £150, which acknowledges the higher costs faced by disabled people. However, these are short-term solutions to a long-term problem. To really help those struggling, the government must address the inadequacy of social security, ensuring it allows disabled people to live full, independent lives." 

Join our campaign for better support for people with MS 

While we welcome the news of immediate action we will continue to call for improvements to be made to the social security system so people with MS get the right financial support

Join our campaigns community to campaign for better financial support and services for our MS community. 

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Our MS Helpline gives emotional support and information to everyone living with MS. We’re here Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm except bank holidays. Call us free on 0808 800 8000.