Disabled people ‘should not have to rely on celebrities’ to pay their energy bills

A Labour MP has raised in the Commons the case of Kate Winslet who paid a woman’s £17,000 energy bill

Big Zero Report 2022

Disabled people have to rely on government support and not on celebrities to pay their energy bills amid the current crisis, a Labour MP has said.

A few days ago, Titanic actor Kate Winslet confirmed that she donated £17,000 to a woman who was facing such a high energy bill to keep her disabled 12-year-old daughter alive.

Ms Hunter from Scotland had previously launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay the rising energy costs of health equipment, including a machine monitoring oxygen and heart rate.

Shadow minister Vicky Foxcroft said: “Many disabled people are having to make unimaginable sacrifices to keep lifesaving equipment running in the face of huge energy bills.

But disabled people should not have to rely on celebrities to swoop in and save the day.

“So, when will the government finally ensure that every disabled person is receiving the support they so desperately need?”

Department for Work and Pensions minister Tom Pursglove replied: “I am appreciative of the Shadow minister raising the issue of Carolynne’s situation and of course, I am under absolutely no illusion about how challenging the current circumstances and climate is for many people across the country.

“That is why we are putting in place this package of support that I have already outlined, which is the right thing to do, as well as the discretionary help that is there to assist where there are particularly pressing needs in individual cases to address those and provide support.”

A BEIS spokesperson told ELN: “We understand this is a difficult time for families across the country, including those living with a disability, which is why we have put in place immediate support for this coming winter.

“This includes direct payments to vulnerable households worth £1,200, plus an additional £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment. On top of this, the government’s Energy Price Guarantee will save the typical household around £900 this winter.”

ELN has approached Ofgem for comment.

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