As the clocks changed and went back an hour, suddenly we found ourselves immersed in earlier, darker evenings along with a blistery, cold draft seeping through the house. Our lights will be on more, earlier in the day, because of this but I can’t sustain the cost of keeping them on. It is times like this I try to remind myself that the government support which has been promised may eventually come.
I am currently on £3 or so electricity and no Universal Credit payment is due for at least another week. I have tried to call my energy supplier twice to ask where the October payment is, only to be told, ‘it has been sent.’ They have told me the November payment has also been issued, but I’m now not confident that will come either. My daughter has additional needs and relies heavily on electronic devices to regulate her behaviour, it is reasons like this as to why our electricity is high usage and incredibly important to our household.
I don’t know what I’ll do if this Cost of Living Payment doesn’t arrive, we are already struggling to make ends meet. I have been informed of another fund, ‘the hardship fund,’ which I have been advised to ask my electricity supplier about. But, why should we have to resort to such methods when the government are failing to offer support they promised?
I’m angry for my own household, but I’m angrier for others who are in even more vulnerable situations than mine. The government have promised to help and are doing nothing to rectify their mistakes. There is no accountability, no admission of failure. Yet, as a recipient of benefits, I am constantly made to feel responsible for any small mistake I’ve ever made. We, as a society can do much better.
The next Cost of Living Payment is due in November (very soon) and I am hoping everything will be delivered on time to those who need it the most. There is always a chance to change the tone of how we handle situations, and I sincerely hope that both policy and decision makers can learn from their mistakes and understand that people are waiting for a lifeline. We do not have the luxury of being able to wait for days or weeks for promised support.
We need consistency and truth. We are in need NOW.