The dates for the next cost of living payments have been announced for those most in need. But as usual I am stuck in a position that leaves me with no help at all this winter. Claiming Legacy benefits which I receive as a single person despite having a school age child to support, I am not able to claim tax credits or income related benefits, so apart from child benefit we have to struggle with the little we do get that was also not increased in line with other benefits in April. The government needs to look at the situation urgently and make changes. My daughter and I will be forced to survive through winter without the use of heating or lighting and very little warm healthy food. I don't want charity and handouts I just want to be treated like a human being in a safe and fair society.
It will bring serious and multiple issues if benefit rates don't increase next April. We have already been rationing since early 2022. We are still no better off for doing so.
Every household bill has increased beyond a reasonable rate, not just energy bills.
I was forced to replace my vehicle this summer. Paying for it, insuring and taxing it has taken a bigger dent out of my bank balance than anyone on a low income would like.
The money in my bank account is literally the only source of money I have to my name, no pension to think about, no savings to speak of.
This wasn't the way I ever imagined I would be living my life at my age, trying to raise a family single handedly all these years has been incredibly difficult on every level.
It's a depressing prospect. I'm not sure how much more of this cost of living crisis we can take. It's embarrassing to ask for charity, we aren't in debt yet, but that could change overnight at this rate.
I already have an empty fridge freezer. I can't face buying a trolly full of food that will end up going off and in the bin because I forgot to freeze it or our appetites change over the course of the week, or I'm unwell and can't manage to cook or eat anything.
I live with the dread of the landlord selling up or increasing our rent. It's a constant worry.
Nobody can be certain whether there will be funding to help with winter fuel costs, I'm already disgusted by the mould growth on our belongings since we moved here 18 months ago, because the house is difficult to heat aside from rationing the heating bills. I can see us still trying to claw our way out of the shortage in our budget after Christmas.
As it currently is, I've never felt so skint as this, in years.
We are already under pressure to run family. Top of that if benefits not increase then we have nowhere to go. Government should take care of its citizens by providing them the quality of life that they deserve in civilised society.
I really would not be surprised if benefits are not increased in line with inflation. There is no understanding in this government about how much it costs for families to live a normal, healthy lifestyle without the constant worry about how people will be able to feed themselves and their children, and cover the cost of rising bills. A lot of bills like broadband and phones rise in line with inflation plus a percentage more each year, leaving families in more financial difficulty. This, I find, is extremely tough as I am one of those who is still on Legacy benefits, who have not seen any sort of increase for several years even during the cost of living crisis, which is continuing despite what they want us to think.
If, next April, all benefits are not increased in line with inflation, I genuinely believe that we will end up malnourished and needing hospital treatment or simply freezing to death in our home, unable to put the heating and lights on even for a short period of time. I am now unable to remember the last time I ate a cooked meal or used the heating, I am now not even boiling the kettle in order to make a hot drink. There are just no more areas to cut back on so if there is no increase in benefit rates in April it will have a devasting affect on myself and my daughter, who is already struggling to work her way through school studying for her A levels. A rise in all benefits is the minimum that the government needs to announce in order for those living on a low income to even think about surviving through another long cold winter.
So I'm definitely feeling the cost of living and the damage that was done by the Truss short period of time in office. My landlord is selling our home so we're having to find somewhere else to live – he told me Friday evening so not been able to get any help from any government or authority just yet, but I am blessed with a few good friends, who are already on the case and trying to help us, which has made me feel very emotional.
When we moved here, we thought it was for at least the next 10 years but because of the mortgage rises my landlord is selling up. He's a very good landlord and I'm very upset that we have to move, but I understand his situation and why he needs to sell – I just don't know what we're going to do. I don't have money to move, I don't have money for a deposit or anything and what's worrying me the most is everywhere I'm seeing online is £3000 and up per month. How is anyone able to afford this? I know my housing allowance won't. I can't work, I can't save, and I can't seem to find positivity from this. I'm scared we're going to be left homeless, or worse, in a damp mould filled property like last time.
It's scary and I don't know what the future holds for us or if we will have to relocate completely and uproot our entire lives or not. It's very upsetting. How is anyone meant to manage on the price increasing for absolutely everything? Housing isn't great where I am and £3000+ for a month to live in my town is so ridiculously overpriced. The government did this to us –why aren't they doing more to help?
There was a story on my internet homepage this morning stating that an MP had said you can tell why people are obese by what is in their shopping trolley. If the government were to give people on a low income a bit more money we could buy healthier food and look after ourselves better, which would mean a saving for the health service.
I feel sheer panic when I think too much about the future. At the moment, my son is 2 so I have no work commitments. Once he's 3 I'll be considered gainfully self employed and hopefully will get a start up year, but by the time he's 4 I'll have to bring in a consistent monthly profit or the Minimum Income Floor will be applied and we won't be able to afford to live.
The pressure of making a business profitable, and not just profitable over a year but profitable every single month regardless of expenses being lumpy, is terrifying. But I can't go back to being employed - between my health and my son's health, it's not possible. The work I do is important and I love it, but all the DWP care about is profit. It's such an unrealistic and cruel standard to place on a small business when plenty of large corporations get lots of government support and aren't anything like as profitable, % wise, as sole traders are required to be.
I've had to think in terms of 3 months at a time maximum, because if I let myself see the bigger picture I get overwhelmed by the clashing priorities of building a sustainable, meaningful and successful business (and life!) versus meeting the DWP's capricious and unyielding requirements so that we can afford to eat.
It's really hard to plan for the future financially at the minute because there's no excess funds. I was on at the media recently and they asked this question how do you feel about the government telling people that they need to save now for the winter? Well, I just couldn't believe it because at the end of the day, people are already struggling. I'm affected by the 20 pound uplift already that was taken away a long time ago, also by the hunger payments for free school meals. And literally there are no extra funding and no extra money. So how are people supposed to think about the future when they're just being forced and plunged into thinking about the now and the then and here and the now? It's literally crazy that even the government have these expectations of people to start saving now for even the winter. I mean, you can't. And with the lack of hunger payments for the free the people entitled to free school meals, I'm really struggling this summer and it's only going to get worse.
I'm worried already that I move my child schools because of his additional needs, but he's not that high up in the spectrum in order to get transportation help. So now I'm going to have this extra money every month that I don't even know where I'm getting it from, but I keep him in a school that doesn't cater for his needs because I can't afford to send them on a bus, or do I go on a bus with them and just suffer the consequences of the amount of money that it's going to cost? I'm not even laughing and saying this, but people are going to have to sell kidneys. You can't think of the future because there's just not enough money to go around and.
Sainsbury's have said that food inflation is starting to fall, according to a story on my browser.
But I don't see any off the prices falling in the shops. Is this going to be another of those occasions where wholesale costs will fall but we have to continue paying higher prices on our shopping. The government should be starting to tell the big retailers to start putting their cost saving back on the shelf prices to help consumers ( especially the ones struggling to buy food to survive )
Why aren't they doing anything at all to reduce gas and electricity? Why aren't they doing anything to lower supermarket prices? There's just no help. Single parents and I work full time and I cannot afford to live. I am getting into debt because I cannot pay bills I work full time. I am not on minimum wage but I have to pay out 450 pounds a month in childcare just to be able to work. Why is there no help? Why aren't they doing anything at all?
I would like to ask my local MP to lobby or campaign to government for more housing who were in the housing waiting list for more than expected. Build houses and rehouse people from waiting list and then provide opportunity for employment and other support.
Questions: 1. How the government can support more those people who are on benefits - helping them with finding work that would suit their unique personal circumstances? 2. How can the government assist those on low-income secure affordable housing?