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Energy: Prices

Question for Treasury

UIN 90835, tabled on 18 November 2022

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons disabled people spend have been less support with energy costs than people in pension poverty.

Answered on

23 November 2022

The Government recognises that the rising cost of living has presented additional financial challenges to many people, and especially to the most vulnerable members of society, such as disabled people and people with long-term health conditions – who may have additional energy costs. That is why the Government is taking decisive action to support households while ensuring we act in a fiscally responsible way.

At Autumn Statement 2022, the Government announced that it will provide a further Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 in 2023/24 to people in receipt of extra-costs disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This is additional to the £150 payment for recipients of disability benefits in 2022 already announced as part of the Cost of Living package in May.

Pensioners are more likely to be living in harder to heat homes and suffer disproportionately from adverse health effects from living in a cold home. Many pensioners rely primarily on their State Pension for income and have limited scope to increase their income through work. There will be disabled people (or other family members) in working-age households who may be able to supplement their incomes through work.

However, the Government recognises that there are also many disabled people who cannot increase their incomes through work and who receive means-tested benefits. Individuals who have limited or no ability to work because of their disability or long-term health condition, and are in receipt of means-tested benefits such as income-related Employment and Support Allowance or the Universal Credit Health top up, will therefore also receive the Cost of Living Payments for households on means-tested benefits, namely the £650 payment announced in May and the additional £900 payment announced at Autumn Statement.

Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions will also benefit from other forms of non-means-tested support which the Government is providing to assist with household energy bills. We have taken decisive action to support millions of households with rising energy costs through the Energy Price Guarantee, ​which limits the price suppliers can charge customers for units of gas and electricity. In addition to the Energy Price Guarantee, millions of the most vulnerable households will receive further support this year through the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme. The £150 Council Tax rebate will also mean that all households in Council Tax bands A-D will receive a rebate, and 99% of eligible households have already received this.

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