Martin Lewis Suggests Rishi Sunak is ‘giving with one hand and taking with the other’ on Disability Support

After the chancellor announced that those receiving disability benefits would be given £150 in extra support – just as hundreds of thousands of disabled people are being cut off from the warm home discount scheme – Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis suggested Rishi Sunak is “giving with one hand and taking away with the other.”

Almost 300,000 handicapped individuals are losing government assistance to reduce their fuel expenses, as tightened qualifying rules strip claimants of a slew of disability benefits of the main discount because their earnings are deemed too high.

But in Thursday’s cost-of-living announcement, Mr Sunak said disabled people who were facing “extra costs in their day-to-day lives”, would be sent, from September, an extra one-off disability cost-of-living payment worth £150 – worth a total of £900m.

Echoing criticism from charities, Mr Lewis asked the chancellor: “Are you giving with one hand and taking away with another?”

Mr Sunak replied: “The warm home discount scheme operates completely separately from everything else that I have announced today.”

Mr Lewis said: “No, but there has been a change, so that people with disabilities are being removed from it, so you’re giving them £150 but they’re losing the warm home discount.”

Mr Sunak replied: “In aggregate, what is happening with the warm home discount is that it is being expanded by, I think, about 700,000 people.”

Responding to the chancellor, Mr Lewis said the “net gain for these people is zero” and urged him to look again at the policy.

Ministers say that reorganising the warm home scheme will better target fuel poverty by providing assistance to an additional 160,000 people with a long-term illness or disability, while also increasing payments from £10 to £150.

Disability organisations have warned that the steps announced by the chancellor on Thursday are insufficient, particularly the elimination of the warm home discount.

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