Certainly not, while the price of some things has gone back down a bit in price such as gas, electricity and fuel, there are still millions of families like mine that are going to have no choice but to leave the heating turned off this winter and stay cold in our own homes due to the cost. I am unable to afford to cook food on a daily basis, often having to eat cold meals instead that do not require the use of gas or electricity. In the shops the price of some foods has also come down slightly such as fruit and vegetables but again the cost of fresh fruit is still far too high to enable us to afford the recommended amount, also I am sure most people have noticed that apart from price increases in a lot of supermarket prices there has also been a reduction in the amount / size of package simply meaning another increase.
I also feel this has a larger effect on those receiving Legacy benefits that did not get any increase along with other benefits earlier in the year and also missed out on most cost of living payments. My situation on Legacy benefits means myself and my daughter are living on the same amount as we we were five years ago apart from the small increase in child benefit, with no help from my previous partner this is all we have to survive on. So simply, NO the cost of living crisis is not over and is yet a long way off. I am starting to lose hope that anything will change for low income families no matter what government is in place within my lifetime. Whenever there is a price increase in utility bills, internet connection, food or anything else it means I have to make more and more cutbacks in other areas to stay afloat.
It is not a case of if and when things will change, it is NOW that changes must be made in order for a fairer society where we can all have a reasonable standard of living, bring up our families to have the best possible start in life that is achievable and be in a situation to lift themselves out of a life of poverty.
Living on a low income, sometimes it's the small things that matter. Over the sweltering hot weekend and trying to keep cool without the use of fans, I was delighted to go to my local sainsburys and find some ice cream on special offer which I do not normally buy but treated my daughter and myself on this very rare occasion. It's not only the cold winters that we struggle to get through comfortably.
It's 2023 and right now I'm happy each week if I managed to feed and clothe my children without running out of electricity or fuel. There is no expendable income and survival is what this is, not living.
My older two children are fortunate enough to live in a separated parent family so at their dad's they live a completely different life. My youngest son who is 2 only has me and most days I feel so guilty.
My older two have been away this week, my eldest spent a week abroad with her dad and my middle son is currently in abroad where his dad is to be remarried. I am eternally happy for both my older children that they get these incredible experiences but I also feel guilty. Guilty that my youngest son lives in second hand clothes and shoes. Guilty that we have to rely on the community grocery for food. Guilty that during cold snaps he has to get in bed with me to keep warm as I can't afford the heating.
I know that for now on UC there will be no holidays, no trips away, no clubs to attend and some days it just makes me feel like I'm failing him as a parent.
To remain transparent he got money from family and friends for his birthday recently and I took him to the zoo and beach but that won't be happening again for such a long time.
Deep down I know that I spend every single day taking him to parks and playing in the garden with him and children need time and love not money and things but sometimes I just wish I could give him something special. I wish I could buy the sweets he wanted so badly from the shop, I wish I could take him to the mini movers group all of his friends go to.
But here we are in 2023 surviving.
Although it's June, in a house that doesn't receive much sunlight through small windows, and the temperature outside is 10° in North East Scotland, I am cold. Back to sitting in a dressing gown over my clothes in the house.
Local news of pizza delivery service in town has closed due to being unable to afford the increased rates of the premises. It was an occasional treat for us to have a pizza delivered and delicious too.
The weather is warming up which means my babies are not getting up in the bitter cold. There is something about spring/summer that allows kids to bloom. It’s been lovely not witnessing them cry because they have to get out of bed and freeze getting dressed. They are smiling a little more.
Big change in weather. It's freezing cold and hailstone showers. Heating back on and feeling cold sitting in my home despite it being on.
The cost of living payment due in May is not coming quick enough.
I do really like being a part of the Changing Realities team. I find it really good to have a place to say things. Being a single parent, you have no one to talk to, so sometimes it is quite nice just to have a place to say what you're going through. I would probably like to see some changes more, see what changes that you are trying to implement. Obviously, it's been going on for quite a while and things are only getting worse now. I mean, the gas and electricity help has stopped, but it's still pretty cold. So my bills have gone from £220 to now 300 and I don't see any changes. The price in the supermarkets are still rising, wages haven't risen. I suppose the benefits due to rise, the payments that start affecting us next month. But is there anything in the pipeline that's about to change soon or anything that you are trying to get changed soon? Maybe letting people know what is happening a bit more just because it seems never ending at the minute. And it just seems to be that the situation is getting far worse as things go along.
Most of the way through April already and the house is like a morgue. I'm sure it's warmer outside in the sunshine?!
Plans to scrap [insert pension related thing here] scrapped due to backlash,
I've seen five such articles in the last week. So backlash over largely conservative voters means the government will backtrack but not stuff that effects largely labour or lib dem voters like the recent budget that punishes the more vulnerable with additional vulnerability.
I laid awake in bed last night, cold sweat panic of being forced to look for work again, these last two and half months of being on LCWRA had given me a false sense of security that the government would finally let me focus on healing, focusing on being well enough to be able to work. I look forward to being able to work again one day, I don't know when yet, could be a few years cos treatment doesn't happen overnight and is a process. But if I have too look for work or forced into work while seeking treatment it will jeopardise my healing process with additional stress. There is literally no job I can do safely with my mental health as it currently in, I'd pose a health and safety hazard, be a risk to myself my colleagues and potential clients/customers. No one will employ me and no special measures, besides having a constant supervisor assigned to insuring I'm safe and well every few minutes will enable me to work as things currently stand. I'm not even able to safely care for my children until after treatment due to how my mental health poses a risk to their development and welfare. I get a lot of support from social services and a lot of access to my children cos social see me as sick and vulnerable and deserving of help, but while I'm deemed too ill to care for my kids the gov thinks me and people like me can work. I wish I could, I'd love to role model that to my kids, and one day I will. But I can't run before I can walk. Its mental. I dread the utter desperation if hunger and cold, after my childhood trauma such retriggering makes self harm and suicidal thoughts stronger. I'm fine, safe, right now but if things keep on getting worse and more unsafe (like it's mental that people like me aren't safe in our own country, not safe from hunger or cold or starvation, like this is Britain FFS, how can government do this to its own people!), If things keep getting worse then how will my mental health ever get better if I can't just focus on healing for a short time. In the factor of my life, a few years out if the workforce to heal is small compared to lifetime out of work cos no one will employ me. Sometimes it feels like the government is just trying to kill off as many poor and vunerable persons that it can, cheapest way to lower their unemployment rates if we're dying. And loads of evidence that mental illness lowers life expectancy, as does stress and hunger and cold.
As for sanctions, they're disgusting, Government sanctioned torture. We've clearly never moved on from Victorian punish the poor mentality and it shows.
Thrown caution to the wind & had the central heating on for two & a half hours today. If you can't heat your home when it's snowing outside all day when can you heat it?
Wish I could hibernate till warmer weather is here. So tired of cold wet gloomy grey skies & icy winds. Not helping to have so many drafts around the house. The temperature gauge was on 15°c despite the heating being on & the kitchen was colder than that again.
This week's return to freezing weather & snow showers has seen me trying to block up the cold breeze blowing through the letter box again.
I might be missing something here, but aside from fitting an external letter box or building a porch, you'd think by now there would be a better way to engineer doors so people didn't have wind chill circulating around their living rooms.
I don't know what is worse, the fact that I've become so obsessed with 'locating' drafts & heat loss or the fact that I'm constantly trying to 'block everything up' or is it learning to 'live with the drafts' when you're trying to heat your home?
Another cold snap coming just as the government help with the cost of energy bills comes to an end. After a visit to the doctor I was told that I have caused serious damage to my feet due to being diabetic and not being able to keep myself warm during the long cold winter. On top of this I am very concerned about the upcoming benefit increase in April as I receive legacy benefits, what I receive as an increase is taken straight back from what they call a 'premium' after being changed from incapacity benefit to ESA. After all this the deadline for changing all claimants over to Universal Credit is going to cause even more hardship due to the lower rate I will receive and the time it takes to asses the claim, in which time you receive nothing. Where is the fairness in trying to live a meaningful life and raise a family faced with a life on benefits?