This next week will tell us quite a bit about what our PM really thinks of the most vulnerable in society. Is he going to make us pay for the "mistakes" that Liz made whilst she was trying to give the wealthiest a tax break and crashed the economy? Or, will he stand by his word of increasing social security, matching inflation? Even then it will be too late for so many, baring a cold winter of high bills and debts. Mortgages on the rise, rent will most certainly be on the rise for yet again the most vulnerable. Where is our hand up? Where is the levelling up? Where is our opportunities to get out of this situation?
I am so cross this week. I am beginning my mid-term break. I work in a school and I know this break will cost me 6 days wages next month, right in the midst of Christmas!
Our political instability has just crashed to the pits of doom! The energy support everyone in the UK was promised is still on a shelf, no one here in Northern Ireland has, or knows, when they will get this. The poorest have to put money into their meters before they can get theirs yet direct debits get theirs with no cash transaction. We begin to ask what is the point? When those on social security now receive the second batch of additional support we will see those not in receipt turn on the poorest accusing, as if we have any control or say over all of this.
Our half term is only starting here in Northern Ireland, and we have just seen the demise of our devolved executive. Not only are we sitting with no clarity in terms of when we will receive the energy financial support but now, we face uncertainty politically. We are led to believe that those on prepayment meter have to buy energy to get the added support, why? Those on direct debits and bills don't have to pay anything to get their support! Yet again, the poorest have to pay for the privilege of support.
It's cold and the weather is wet, the evenings are much darker, and we can't avoid the lights being switched on. My child is off, and I just can't afford to do anything with her, thankfully she is getting away to her dads for a few days. We do still get the food allowance when school is closed which helps a little.
I am so cross with it all and as much as I try not to lose hope and remain engaged in politics I feel dismayed by it all. People are struggling, losing hope and we are just being thrown to the wolves.
My daughter had an awful half term. She's been truly bored. She's had two days in college supported by the school which has given a 20 pound voucher, which is absolutely brilliant. Basically, cause I'm on a low income, it's just supporting us until I get paid on the 25th. It's been a bit of a struggle, but I'm glad for her to go back to school on Monday.
A good day :) Got a whole chicken from the food pantry and a friend brought us two pumpkins. Cooking in my slow cooker and it smells amazing. The price on the chicken was £9.32. Meat is a rare treat nowadays.
I have had no choice but to work. My 'zero hour' job means I am not paid unless I am at work. We are not employees and do not have the luxury of pay during holiday or breaks. Our holiday entitlement is added onto our (already low) pay.
I am lucky enough to have family to take care of my children. Without them I could not afford the up front childcare fees. I’ve swapped one set of circumstances for another. I’m definitely better off working. Treading water. Admittedly no longer sinking as such. 'Be grateful' I tell myself…
A man that owns 12 houses and is prime minister.
It's something I used to read about rulers in 'poverty-stricken' countries.
This is the UK in 2022.
How desperate is it to wish to wake up and check my bank account every morning, in hope a payment of child maintenance has been made?
Half term for us have been quite stressful as we are moving house. It's so difficult to keep little ones occupied and sort things out at the same time. It's getting colder in the North and I don't have any plans on turning the heating on yet.
I wonder this half-term holiday why I haven't received any voucher for my eligible children from school? On top of that, my children are staying home for 24 hours which means increased spending besides paying higher energy bills.
We really are watching every penny now. I am trying really hard to replace things we used to do with affordable versions rather than do nothing at all. For example we used to buy and carve pumpkins and give treats out on Halloween and have friends over for a fire and food. This year I will use the pumpkin I grew in the garden to make a meal for my family, have a little fire but not answer the door to trick or treaters. I hate not being able to be as generous as I want to be and not having enough food and fuel to share with friends, especially on special occasions.
My daughter has eaten much more this half term or as we call it in Scotland.. the tattie holidays.
Weather is miserable and wet although not as cold as usual. My daughter is spending most of her time in her room. Not dressed... she doesn't see the point... she sees others her age away on holidays abroad. I feel like a bad parent as I cannot afford to provide this.
Everyone is at home which equals more electricity and gas and more food consumed. Two of us are working from home and we are getting on each others nerves (a lot) whilst the other seems to think that electricity, gas and food is free.
Half term. Our daughter has kept busy during the days with school work and revision for GCSE's. We enjoy crafts like crochet and cross stitch whilst watching our favourite films and TV programmes in the evenings. Nothing exciting and no money for trips or activities but that is how it is. We still have a lot to be grateful for and more than many people. The extra expense has just been food as obviously she is not eating free school dinners for 2 weeks but we don't have to pay for bus fares so it balances out. I think it must be harder for parents with young children as they need entertaining all the time. Cheap and free activities can be fun but in my experience they usually require more effort and planning.
I've quite enjoyed half term having that little bit of extra sleep when the weather has been rubbish as well. I've still been working all week as I'm self employed (house cleaner) but my husband doesn't start his job until Monday so he's been keeping the kids entertained.
Condescending corrupt Tory government... who voted for this?
OK so today I am trying to be positive.
I can't buy new sofa and furniture. The next best thing is washing the covers of the cushions.
There is no space to dry them indoors as hoodie and jeans washed four days ago are not dry yet. The rain continues outside.
Put heating on to dry clothes quicker and risk high gas charges?
Maybe another day.
Holidays are long! I do not enjoy them. I’ve taken the week off work but we haven’t done anything particularly exciting. We are going for an hour’s bowling this afternoon, this is the one “treat” of the week. Other activities have been free ones such as going to the park, having friends round for play dates and going to the shop for sweets. There have been additional costs - the extra fuel and food noticeably. I’ve managed to refrain from switching the heating on still, so that is a bonus in my eyes.
How can we deal with this cost of living crisis, and also keep our children happy? This half term has been difficult due to the lack of money we have to spend and the amount costs have risen in line with inflation. Also, the new government led by our new prime minister is going to be difficult to stomach as he said we have some hard choices to make. This may mean people on benefits will struggle, especially with the new budget coming which has been moved to 17th November. We are after answers now, how else do we even organise Christmas? I am scared for our children and families this year making ends meet.
Half term hasn’t happened here yet it’s next week. I’m absolutely dreading it. There is nothing left in the pot AGAIN even though we don’t get paid again until the middle of next month. Yet I need to find an extra two meals each for the kids per day for 10 days as the Monday after half term is inset day. We can’t afford to go out anywhere and can’t keep the house warm and it’s so cold here right now. Half term is four hungry, cold and miserable kids for me. I am already feeling like a complete and utter failure but I know next week will be a million times worse.
Half term feels like it's been full of disappointment for us. We were looking forward to finally getting our car back fixed. It hasn't happened yet.
Living costs are more for me each month than a non disabled person. This is not living its surviving. It's each day the same as the next. Disappointment, lack and isolation.
We haven't been able to venture outdoors together in 3 weeks. I can't walk unaided and without severe pain. My son doesn't have friends outside of school. Had we known it would take this long to repair the car beforehand then maybe we could have made different plans?
I don't like seeing my son so depressed. He fully understands the situation. He said himself, "it's as if the world hates us".
Things still needed to happen over half term. The stress of not being able to do any of it has made me physically unwell. I did consider the cost of a hire car thinking mental health was more important than cost but I'm not confident enough to deal with all that goes with it.
There's nothing much else to do with him around here that doesn't involve getting taxis and spending excessive amounts of money we 'ant exactly got nor energy to make the effort to bother.
It makes me feel guilty, moving here was a big mistake. Too difficult to access shops and public transport.
On a positive note we've paid for a movie pass on special offer. We ordered a meal from a local restaurant to cheer ourselves up. I ate the leftovers the following night. Even the fact that the main course was blatantly full of veg rather than meat is a sign of the times. Although we did have to cancel an outing we were looking forward to going to.
These aren't the half term holiday activities I've seen friends on social media doing.
Thankfully the weather has been mild, so we've not needed the heating on as often.
There's no back up fund for emergencies, just whatever is in the bank at the time.
It takes great courage to look at your bank balance when you live on a low income. it's all too easy to bury your head in the sand and be irresponsible with finances. It's tempting to be that person
We've had a different half term this time. My daughter being on to some free events with her special needs arts club. She's also been to a special 80 year club, which has got a none or 50p charge. And we have £15 shopping voucher from the local authority, which used to provide a Tesco's meal deal five times Monday to Friday in a week. But obviously now Tesco's has put their price up to £3.40, so I'm going to have to fund the extra pennies. But that's the cost of living. That is now starting to have an effect on us now when the store vouchers don't actually fully cover a Tesco meal. But, yeah, it helps. I mean, it's cheaper to go and buy, like, bread and some ham and make up sandwiches, but if it's half term, I thought I'd give her a little treat.
I recently claimed UC and was awarded £26 a month, plus childcare, though household income is about 36k between us & we have a 7 year old... I'm applying for DLA for him at moment, wondering if will rise with inflation and the cap be scrapped. We are struggling to meet our bills and buy food and live in Wales so have heating oil. Oil price went from £280 for 6 months to £580 in summer, which is unaffordable for us as extra £50 pcm... Our parents had to help us. We don't seem to be eligible for warm homes discount yet in our mid 40s we rent as we cannot afford to save for a deposit to buy a home. My parents are eligible for lots of help with heating bill because they are pensioners, even though their house is worth 800k. I just don't understand why it isn't means tested and distributed more evenly, or why heating oil isn't even mentioned.
All this change at the top of the political ladder is insane and it’s doing nothing to ease our worries over heating and food bills.
How are we supposed to trust the people at the top? They do not understand what it is like to live like this.
Someone from the Housing Association phoned yesterday. They're going to be surveying the block for cyclical maintenance tomorrow, and, "will I be in 12-4pm?" I looked at the calendar, saw I'm down for an online Zoom meeting in the afternoon for my volunteering. I said, "I'll be working for at least a couple of hours during that time slot, so won't be totally available". She responded "WORK?! *YOU'RE* WORKING?!?" in such tones of outrage and disbelief, I'm still fuming now!
I have emailed my Conservative MP about raising benefits in line with inflation and scrapping the cap... not expecting a decent response to be honest, but at least I feel I'm doing something., fighting against the status quo. Joined Child Poverty Action Group too. I'm a Careers Advisor now; awful as it is for us struggling to pay all our bills and buy food... it's worse for single parents or those who are struggling to find employment.
I always feel as though I’m fighting a losing battle with making money last between Universal Credit and Child Benefit payments. I end up borrowing from family to get by so that by the time I get paid there’s nothing left for the weeks ahead. Today I had to go to the hospital for a glucose tolerance test as I’m 28 weeks pregnant. Buses were all over the place so to get there by 9.10 for my appointment after dropping my daughter at her Dad’s, I had to take an Uber, and then an accident en route doubled the original quote for my fare. That’s wiped out all the money I had to live on until the 31st October and so all of my plans for this week too, unless I borrow more from my mum - knowing I then will have nothing for the following weeks when I pay it back.
It’s this constant pressure of barely making it through, all the time. It’s exhausting. I think a lot about class and the weird position I occupy in it. I’m a PhD student studying psychoanalysis, which is about as middle-class and elitist a field as you can get. I’m also from a poor background and a solo parent trying to live off £500 a month as the costs of everything go up and up. My mum was 14 when she had me and we lived in a council house with us 4 kids and there was never enough benefit money but she says it was never as constantly oppressive as this. After studying and working non-stop since I was a teenager, I’m 31 and have a first class degree and an MA and half a PhD and a CV as long as my arm, but what does it mean? Only that, as soon as one becomes a single parent to a small child; if you should want to raise that child yourself rather than work all hours to afford childcare so that someone does the work of parenting for you, then you’re committing yourself and your children to a life of poverty. I am fortunate to know that on the other side of this, when the children go to school, I will be able to find a job in academia, earn a reasonable wage, pursue my training to become a psychoanalyst, and eventually live comfortably. But I won’t ever forget this period of my life where I was made practically destitute for wanting to provide the best start in life for my children.
I am worried sick about Christmas. No matter what is happening in society children are still expecting Santa to visit. There’s just so much pressure at the minute trying to keep my head above water with topping up gas and electric. I blink and then the gas has gone. I need the heating to dry the clothes and I don’t have a tumble dryer. I’m trying to think of ways to dry clothes in a different way but in reality I need the heating on. I’m sitting here in my living room when the children are at school and it’s absolutely freezing and I’m shivering even with a housecoat over my clothes as my face is cold and my nose and my hands. It’s as cold outside as it is inside.
This has been a weird week. I’m noticing that the hikes in gas and electric has made me feel very down. On top of that my uncle has passed away after getting Sepsis and he was only 60 years old. When I was at the hospital my younger cousins and my aunts and uncles were all talking about how nice and warm the hospital was and some of them stayed over while my uncle was sick. It’s crazy that a family came together and they all had the same common opinions of how it was hotter in other places. This morning my son asked me why we couldn’t have the heating on in the mornings anymore and that was heartbreaking. I’ve resorted to ironing his uniform to make it hit which he puts on straight away so it warms him up. Terrible times we are living in and one that has been forced upon us.
Wide awake at 3:48am.
I am feeling hungry and cold.
It's 10° but feels much colder.
I'm not exactly withering away, but I want food. I had a pot noodle for my tea yesterday.
Scrolling through Facebook and torturing myself seeing others on holiday. As if the Cost of Living crisis isn't happening for them.
Well I've just had a week in Lanzarote. I have lived on beans and pasta, scrimped and saved in everyway possible, to have this holiday with the kids after my break up from their dad and the general state of the world. We made it and it was amazing. We had a great time, was well worth the scrimping.
I can not comprehend how absolutely shocked I am watching this Tory government. After a long selection process, they present us with their top choice of Liz Truss only for her to completely fail in the shortest run of PM in history. Now, they are giving us ANOTHER replacement who we haven’t had any influence in and yet they still aren’t in total agreement! How are we supposed to trust them to make important decisions about our futures including our economy and our benefits?! It’s traumatising!
What's on my mind lately is the economic mess the country is in. Not only is it enough of an issue that we are going cold hungry and unwashed, but the knock-on effect of increased "everything else" is a huge worry for us.
In April when my current tenancy ends, we face the prospect of a rent increase based on the cost of living for all. I'm dreading this more than anything else. Faced with having to pay the rent increase or move I simply don't have the energy to deal with that. When your backs against the wall and there's no safety net for people like us, where am I meant to turn?
There is too much month left after the money runs out! This government's decisions are having a catastrophic impact on our lives, my kids are missing out on so much and all I can do is watch because there is no other corners I can cut to save money.
Tested positive for Covid-19 at the weekend. I am now unable to attend the events I had booked to entertain my 5 year old and unable to get a refund. Placed an online grocery order as desperate for milk and other essentials and have spent far more than my usual weekly shop at Aldi or Lidl. Day 3 and I’m hoping it doesn’t get much worse. How do you entertain and care for a 5 year old with cabin fever when you're a single parent and are ill?
There’s another PM. I expect he will be much of a muchness. We can only but hope he listens, although it’s difficult to envisage as he doesn’t have a clue…
It now looks like Rishi Sunak will take over as Prime Minister. Let's hope that he will be the one with some insight and support from other MPs to be able to make a difference to families lives as we all struggle to survive. With the winter fast approaching times are getting even harder and I'm worrying about how myself and my daughter will stay warm and feed ourselves. But at the end of the day, where is the money going to come from? The country's finances are in a mess, there is no more cutbacks to be made from the public sector that would not have a lasting impact on peoples lives and wellbeing.
This is just going to turn into yet another crisis in the making for people on low incomes and benefits, how can anyone lift themselves out of poverty when we don't know where the next pennies are gonna come from? I fear for our children and the problems that will be left for them. I feel my mental health will probably take a hit if it were not for my fabulous partner who helps me see the good side of life and I wish more people could have someone like her in their lives to help them see the positives in life.
My local MP supports the uplift inline with inflation so I do not need to write to him but I do agree that the benefit cap should be removed. Also, that even if you're NOT receiving the carers element of Universal Credit they take the money you are entitled to as a carer by means of carers allowance which is double the amount away saying you have received it 2 times. I think it should be just Carers Allowance that gets paid as it pays out at £302 a month and the Universal Credit Carer's Element only pays £169. I know someone who doesn't get the Carer's Element of Universal Credit but they still take the money given to them away from their Universal Credit entitlement because they say it's been paid 2 times which it hasn't at all. So, if I was to write to my MP that would be my main question aswell as others but they aren't to do with the cost of living more mental health and schooling so I won't bother you with those.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the very festive welcome pack that I received in the post, Gloves to match to colour scheme of the site, indulgent Galaxy chocolate and Dairy Milk hot chocolate sachets to savour and I love the snowflake stickers - they will bring some festive cheer to my windows along with a chalk pen for writing seasonal messages. It was a lovely surprise!
I dread the news these days. Not so much the #CostOfLivingCrisis - we all know that is ongoing. My main fear is that Alexander Boris dePfeffel Johnson, to give him his full name, apparently has enough backers to run for the premiership again. I despair! The man with a known track record of lying, deceit, rule breaking, misogyny, racism and homophobia, notwithstanding the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic (which is still ongoing and from which over 205 000 have died so far) HOW DARE HE! But, he doesn't dare, because he can and the people around him are complicit. We need a general election - NOW! That's what would happen when any other Prime Minister has resigned, But we are not living in "normal" times. Far from it. And I am truly afraid for the future.
I'm very stressed, no savings left after food prices and fuel prices have increased so much this year. I'm choosing between food and heating at the moment. The kids are worried even though I'm trying not to let them know that things are bad.
U-turns and government disasters, not sure anyone knows what is going on anymore! We haven't turned the heating on yet, dressing gowns are the best invention in the world when working from home.
Spoken to lots of people this week who are as confused as I am, no trust in energy companies or the government seems to be the word on the streets.
No heating on this end thankfully we have dressing gowns!
45 days, that's all it takes to bring a country down, to crash the markets, to force the bank of England to prop up the county.
45 days to have interest rates rise to over 10%.
I'm ashamed of the party, I am now considering if I renew my party membership. What has happened to the Tories?
I think this is another one of the many 'kick the can down the road' items. How do we move forward, increase spending in the economy if people have less money? How do we support people who are struggling for the basics, such as food and heating, among all the other bills we need to deal with such as council tax etc.? How can we make ends meet? The £100 to help people who are on oil fuel is a drop in the ocean yet again. It's just sticking plaster rather than a plaster cast that needs to hold us firm in our time of need. What can we do to make things better? I really don't know anymore.
The uncertainty in the past week alone has had a tremendous impact on my Daughter and I as the cold has begun to set it and I cannot afford to provide both eating and heating solutions.
We are fortunate enough to have family close by who have offered us a room In their homes and this is the only foreseeable option I see moving forward for us to be able to survive the winter.
Although this is a solution that is doable and one that I am extremely grateful for - it is unsettling, time consuming and involves it's own set of financial challenges due to travel costs involved.
The mental anguish, anxiety and at times terror that I feel as a result of not being grounded, feeling safe, warm and secure and unable to provide the most basic human needs for my child in our own home is making me feel both physically and mentally ill.
This week we have spent one night in our home and the rest of the week has been shared out between family and my boyfriend.
Next week we hope to have two nights in our home because it's payday soon and we will be able to top up our pay as you go gas card and we will have heating.
All in all... this week (as with most weeks in all honesty) has been hard not to fall into a dark, dark place or a spiral of very depressing thoughts and worries.
Liz Truss has announced she is stepping down from being Prime Minister... didn't take long.
And after 44 days in power and outlasted by a googly-eyed, wig-wearing iceberg lettuce, Liz Truss, Prime Minister of the UK has resigned. The past few weeks of Tory rule has been nothing short of shambolic, with Kwasi Kwarteng's disastrous mini-budget totally u-turned by Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, that replaced him when he was sacked who disturbingly has warned of more "efficiencies" aka cuts ahead.
What is most galling is that Liz Truss, having been Prime Minister for such a short time, will be eligible for a taxpayer-funded Public Duties Cost Allowance (PDCA) worth up to £115,000 per year to help with "reimbursement of expenses for necessary office and secretarial costs arising from their position in public life." She is also entitled to a pension. Now it's only right that people are eligible for severance pay etc., but my beef is that she is still being rewarded despite tanking the economy with her zeal for the free market economy. Because of her level of privilege and wealth, she will be sufficiently insulated against this sudden change in circumstances, which, quite frankly were under her choice and control whilst ordinary folk who make massive mistakes at work are usually sacked on the spot without a severance package and it's enough to jeopardise their whole life. The irony is not lost on me as I prepare an "everlasting" chicken broth for dinner in my electric pressure cooker, made with a leftover chicken carcass, drippings from the roasting pan, scabby, wilting veg and my go to staple to make it go further - a cup of dried soup mix - lentils, peas, mung beans, split yellow peas and pearl barley. I'll serve it with herb dumplings that I make from scratch and it will keep us going for a couple of days. Cheap, tasty and comforting. Bet they don't serve that in the Westminster Dining Room!
Truss has gone!! Let us hope that whoever takes over will listen to the cries of ordinary people and families in this country, give us what we need to be able to stay warm, eat healthy meals and bring up children in a suitable and meaningful way. At the end of the day they are the future and will help shape the world, hopefully in a better way.
We use home heating oil and I think the decision to give ‘help towards it’ as more money on electric is ridiculous. Saying it’s £100 towards oil because you don’t have to use it on electric is absolutely useless. When you have to pay out so much money at once for oil I’m not sure where you’re expected to get it from. We are about to run out and I know more will need ordered and I genuinely don’t know where we are going to get the money from to pay for it. It’s not the same as finding £10/£20 to put on your electric to keep you going. February this year we got 900 litres of oil and it cost around 3x less than it does currently for the same amount. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but what’s another £100 electric on top of the £400 they are giving you over the course of the winter going to do to help heat my children?
I am really worried, the government seem to think by throwing a few morsels to those who are struggling will appease them. We need practical solutions to help us through this mess. Clothing, blankets, solar powered lights etc.
I am really worried about when these payments end. Most of us will be reliant on them, then suddenly they will be gone and we are left facing fuel poverty again.
Just getting ready for tonight's book launch, Getting a bit nervous but it's taking my mind off being so cold. At least I wont be able to see who is watching. The main thing is feeling that it will help to bring about the changes that are needed so badly.
I would really like to know how other participants cope with talking about being poor? I feel there is a strong stigma attached to claiming benefits and not being able to work. I know our teenage daughter made up jobs for us when she was asked in a lesson at school as it was just too embarrassing for her to say, "Mum has SMI and Dad is her carer and keeps her out of hospital". I find it embarrassing to tell anyone too.
I am really sick of "news" articles on how to "save" money on energy bills. They all contain the same basic, common sense information which most poor people have been doing for decades. It won't save us anything. Energy bills will still cost double what it did last year when we were wearing all our clothes indoors, limiting how many times a day we boil the kettle, cooking only once a day, piling sleeping bags and blankets on our beds and timing our showers. I find it infuriating that every bank, energy company, charity and government advice does absolutely nothing to help my family. When benefits are not nearly enough to live on, no amount of hat wearing in bed will make it so.
While I understand the initiative to enrol each employee into a pension scheme, I want to know why as someone with literally no income I can not withdraw some funds.
Providing evidence and proving that I am struggling and could use the money to catch up on bills - why can't this be an option. I have about £2000 saved in pensions and would only require half if that just to get creditors off my back and pay nursery fees and put fuel in my car. Surely if one can prove they are in dire need they should be able to request some sort of relief?
Would they rather the unemployed become homeless and have their children taken away?
Desperate to find any sort of financial relief and this is proving impossible daily and my bills keep rising...
Having received numerous calls for interviews but I have been uncertain if I could attend due to no finances for fuel and being under the threat of having both children removed from their nursery and after school because of non payments! Speaking to UC and I don't qualify for any sort of relief or assistance and they just don't respond to queries relating to this... But one must stay employed or try their best to get employed, how does this make sense!?!
Although 'plenty' of jobs around, there aren't as many understanding employers who would take on single parents who hold sole responsibility with no, I mean NO, support either with collecting and dropping children off or watching /looking after their children.
I've lost two jobs because of my childcare responsibilities.
I am so stressed and discouraged that I would rather hide my head in the ground than deal with all of this... Honestly, this is too much now!
Having interviews booked but no income for fuel and/or having to pay after school and nursery is proving so difficult.
Some days I'd rather die and end it all than continue with this struggle.
I am so tired of, just, EVERYTHING!
Received an email today notifying me that my direct debit for gas and electric is going up from £270 per month to nearly £360 per month. This starts on the 1st of November. I now have to work out how to phone them and stop this increase as I just can’t afford it! I’m already several hundred pounds in credit and have changed my lifestyle to try and consume less. Yet another headache.
The Scottish Parliament is providing the new Scottish Child Payment, for children up to age of 16, to families in a a low income and in receipt of certain benefits. Unfortunately my daughter has just turned 16.
I'm not sure how many other folk are feeling the impact of the current situation but I am in total despair. We need more help than the government seem to be prepared to acknowledge let alone act on.
I've just sent another email to my local MP about the need to act urgently. I've been feeling so fatigued as it is. Everything is aching and hurting. I feel I'm already on a back foot. Disability. No nest egg. No back up from family. No financial security. I'm vulnerable and at the mercy of the landlord's whim if they put my rent up next April, I'm just praying we have a mild winter.
Today, I had the heating on whilst I showered as I felt so lethargic and in pain. Now I feel guilty since the smart meter showed the amount used before 11am to be in the red zone already?! I'm shocked! Really, I shouldn't be having to live like this in 2022. We've seen the standing charge creep up and up and up over the 7 months we've lived here already. I simply will not allow us to fall into debt. I completely refuse to let that happen. I feel so alone. I'm genuinely scared about how we will afford to heat our home wash ourselves and clean our home over the coming months and years.
It makes it impossible to make medium and long term plans. It has the effect of keeping you suspended: not able to envision where you’ll be in a year’s time. The discussion about whether benefits will be increased in line with inflation drives me mad, because what I really want to know is, if they are increased, will the benefit cap go up too? Or will that be another way to introduce cuts to benefits via the back door?
My first diary entry. It’s hard to know what to prioritise writing about. I’m a single parent to a toddler and have a baby due in January. I feel that I am just about coping at the moment but that’s because my energy is on a fixed price contract till next October, and I only have one child to feed at the moment. I’m scared of how I’ll manage when the baby starts weaning and then when my energy goes up next year. The benefits cap has to be one of the cruellest and most abhorrent policies. When the baby comes I won’t get any more benefits because of the benefit cap. Basically I’m punished for living in London where rent is so expensive.
Thinking about money is constant, unrelenting. Everything is eked out, negotiated, planned, budgeted. There’s no room for spontaneity or for the little treats that make life enjoyable.
I feel crushed by the Government. As a lone parent on a low income for over 10 years, I am used to struggling financially. I always look for a way out a hole, whether it's gaining more qualifications or taking on extra employment, to find the government move the goal posts again. This time the goal posts are off the pitch, down the road.
I swing from anxiety to depressed and unmotivated.
£150 on electricity is not much considering how long this situation will last and the uncertainty of how long it will last.
There is a charity in Scotland that is called SCARF. They have a scheme at present to award grants to those in rural towns and villages with oil heating. It is the government that make decisions such as allowing energy companies to increase their costs to customers and if so, why?
Woke up and the Tories are still here.
I have started to volunteer in a charity shop to be able to get warm clothing and blankets before they go out on the shop floor.
I have made us all 'oodies', oversized long fleece garments with hoods.
I won't be putting on the central heating until Christmas. Heating our home is now a treat.
Wide awake at 3am. Blocked nose, and in competition with my daughter with coughing. It's cold and the tip of my nose can't be covered up.
For a while now I've been searching for somewhere to channel my frustrations and concerns constructively and effectively. When I first saw the link to the Changing Realities project on social media, I knew instantly, it was something I could and should get involved with. Changing Realities satisfies my need to express a dissatisfaction with systems which urgently need real change.
As a disabled parent, and grandparent, I already know of struggle, hardship and lack. Lack of physical control is demoralising enough. I may lack mobility, but I do possess the wherewithal to speak out about matters important to me. And I have been listened to and my situation acknowledged and addressed.
For someone like me there's no direct control over what is happening in this country and if I can change that by taking positive action to address matters which effect millions, as well as myself all the better for everyone. I'm driven to speak out through shared experience. Something seriously has to change for the better sooner than later.
This year has already been an immense battle to keep afloat financially, emotional and physically. We've been living in economy mode for as long as I can remember. My hospitality has been taken advantage of and abused as my middle child struggled in a difficult relationship along with their own parenting responsibilities. Hence my youngest and I have already had to stretch our money as far as it would go, prior to the current cost of living difficulties. My experience is relevant and real.
Living with a pain condition means not only am I unable to mobilise but I also lack energy as pain is draining. In fact pain is an attention magnet I have to live with but being cold and hungry within your own home is surely not. I'm dreading the heating and shopping bills this winter.
Also, we are still recovering from the expense of moving home in April. This was due to a non-fault eviction from the home we had loved living in for 16 years.
The landlord needed to sell up. As a tenant, I had no rights no protection. We were seriously compromised every which way we turned. My youngest was due to sit exams and my disability, a major barrier, as no practical help to pack and move. Other than throw ourselves on the mercy of the local authority, which couldn't proceed without correct official papers, there wasn't much choice but to leave the old place quick. The landlord purposely avoided the inconvenience and expense of serving us with official papers. He offered us the opportunity to stay put longer, but for more rent with no safety net when the time was up. Consequently, we took the best we could as soon as we could.
We feel we've had more than our fair share of bad luck and misfortune in recent years. Now with a cost-of-living crisis to contend with I long to be able to have my heating operating the 7 hours plus per day we used to enjoy from Oct to March. We've cut back on everything we possibly can cut back on. The laundry the vacuuming the cooking.
My youngest is required to wear business clothes for school. Some of these come at the expense of having dry-cleaning bills. Given the choice I would have shopped around for machine washable items. We've not gone to the dry cleaners yet.
As winter approaches, we are faced with uncertainty and anxiety. We can only estimate how efficient the heating system here actually is. The oven is proving expensive to cook in. I'm not sure we can stretch to buying an alternative cooking appliance. Also, due to disability, I need to buy more pre-prepared foods or order more expensive online groceries with delivery charges. I receive extra to cover this cost but lately I've noticed how little, my money actually gets us. It's really quite depressing to see our money chewed up so readily.
Despite anticipating financial strain since April, we are still no better prepared. Situations cropped up for my family during recent months. Any rainy-day money I had spare, now gone.
Stress makes my condition worse. There's an existing 'smart' meter here, say no more. Even my youngest is mortified looking at the clock tot up pennies into pounds. Everything we use is associated with its cost nowadays. We've been sharing the same bed to save money heating 2 bedrooms.
To term it a choice between 'heating or eating' is a massive understatement. As mentioned, not only have we cut back on shopping, but as a natural consequence of preparing for increased costs we cut back on laundry, ironing anything we can cut back on really. During the summer, cutting back on showers caused a health crisis I can't afford to repeat. I've since found the economy switch on the shower but even so I'm far less inclined to bother having a cold shower within a cold house. besides, I don't really go out or see anyone day to day anyway. Ultimately, at the back of your mind there's the smart meter racking up the cost all the time.
Daytime, it's easier to keep my coat on at home. Heat the person not the home. I've been filling a flask with boiling water to use later during the day. Even then I question whether it's more expensive to boil larger quantities of water than it would be boiling 1 cup, or do I microwave it to save pennies?
Bottom line is, I personally find there's simply not enough clarity about anything regarding the cost of living crisis. There's obviously next to no official guidance either from what I can tell. Yet here we are on the cusp of winter speeding full steam ahead into the most expensive time of year for the vast majority of folk. In addition, it's not only about a focus on heating or eating it's also the knock-on effect of increased groceries that is causing people to go hungry etc. I tend to eat the out-of-date products to avoid waste as is.
Not once have I heard a clear explanation in layman's terms of what £2500 for an average household actually gets you for your money? Has there been something publicised and I've missed it? In my opinion it's irresponsible on the part of the energy companies and the government. I'm no mathematician able to calculate watts and usage based on what we didn't spend here last year. In fact, last year we were on prepayment meters, in a 3 bed semi, 3 people. It's impossible to speculate on usage.
Last month an energy surveyor carried out an efficiency survey on the property. At least he gave me an indication of this property being lower than 'average' whatever 'average' in terms of gas and electric usage actually is? It's beside the point. We are all still paying insane amounts for our energy.
I tried to be proactive. I contacted my energy company to check I was on the cheapest tariffs. They offer electric blankets and thermal imaging cameras to customers but the process for applying is bewildering and has escaped me. It's actually warmer to sit in the car but it's been with the mechanic a full week already with no sign of its return any time soon. This brings more unwelcome expense to factor in. Until its repaired, I'm housebound unless I pay for taxis. There's currently no bus service close enough for me to access independently. It's been the case for 4 months now. Ironically it's down to works on a replacement gas mains nearby.
Feels like we are going backwards in this country. When I was growing up we didn't have central heating on often but least there was always a fire on in the living room to warm ourselves on. It breaks my heart to hear my youngest's remarks when they offered to use their own money to pay for themselves at a birthday celebration for their cousin.
Typically I'm a fairly resilient person and bounce back from situations but its long since become tiring as I'm preoccupied with doing all I can to save money whilst consumed by staying warm. I'm deeply concerned for us all. Are the government looking to give us the final push into destitution and depression?
Posed with the idea of having to endure and sustain living with these increased costs for a long time to come I worry about the effects on mental health of my youngest. I have a good deal of self-awareness myself however it's becoming more difficult to keep compromising our sanity like this i.e. dithering over how far our finances will continue to stretch.
In honour of #ChallengePovertyWeek in England & Wales, here's another poem I wrote:
People Of Worth
I felt productive today.
But the gnawing pain of Fenella,
My inner critic’s voice in my brain
Whispering guilt never quite goes away
Chronic illness is thought a drain.
The resultant disability affects my aim
Of being economically active again.
Yet I’m someone worthy of being helped
When, sometimes, I can barely help myself
As neurons, run ragged by disease
Fire up & stop me;
Feeling ill at ease,
They refuse my aching quest
To push though.
Spasticity calling all the shots, gleeful,
“Ha! Look at you!
You’re weak, you’re lame”
(Fenella’s voice, shrieking in disdain!)
“You’ll never regain
Your competence, your confidence
Your sense of wholeness
Maybe not today, brain, but here’s the thing
You forget - I still have my voice.
I’ll shout, I’ll chant, I’ll sing
(Like no one's listening!)
“So what? I’m still here!
I’ve survived every flaming obstacle that has ever come my way
I deserve dignity & respect
Just like the 14 million plus others, who
Found life turned upside down instantaneously.
You see, Fenella, dear
Adversity is the forge
Upon which my comrades & I
Will hammer out our truths to Power.
Upon their anvils of incredulity.
To those who fail to listen,
Do not mistakenly dismiss us contemptuously.
Our voices, like continuous bouts of tinnitus, will ring out
That we & our communities, are still worthy
Forever bound through hope, courage, love & unity.
Ignore us at your peril!
In honour of #ChallengePovertyWeek's theme of living life in dignity, here's a poem I wrote in the style of a haiku. Hope you like it.❤️🤗 #challengepoverty
Message To 'The Few'
Fear not ‘The Many’.
We crave not thy riches, but
Life! Dignified life!
As hard as it is, I try not to worry about the benefits side. More would be nice but I'm not going to stress myself out waiting for it to happen. Just gotta budget and find cheaper meals to eat.
I come from an area which is deprived. The trouble with a deprived area is that there is also a lot of corruption. It means my children may be attending school with children who ‘on paper’ are classed low income on benefits, in reality they are bragging and well-off full of luxuries, gold and holidays. My oldest lad mentioned last night a Miller and Carter restaurant as we drove past, how his mate goes there all the time. I don’t think I can afford to read a menu, it makes me feel bad and like my once a blue moon treat of McDonald’s is not good enough.
I feel we are all only 1 month away from homelessness. The rich are becoming richer whilst the poor are becoming poorer.
I received an unexpected voucher from CR today that made me cry. I'm worried with half term coming up and cost of taking kids to even free and low cost events in town over the half term next week. Being able to use this voucher for groceries frees up money for kids. Thank you!
Don't know what to do in this hard time. Winter is knocking at the door and I still don't know how to pay the bills. On top of that, this government's U-turn of the mini-budget make me confused.
There are lots of uncertainty nowadays whether we will get more benefits or not. I'm worried about the soaring energy cost. This recent government brings more uncertainty than others. We need immediate action to tackle this crisis.
Benefit uncertainty and any changes effect me and my family a lot.
The bus fiasco continues... the Tories sent hard working immigrants away. Now public transport is short staffed and people are isolated in a rural community.
House temperature is 14c. No heating yet. We have started using a terracotta plant pot heater that my husband made. It takes 3 or 4 long burn tea light candles, goes for 8 hours, and we have it going in the lounge in the evenings. Not sure how much it helps raise the temperature. I put up a heavy curtain across the door way to try to keep heat in and drafts out.
Feeling poorly tonight, a tightness in my throat and painful ear.
Blooming cold. Sitting with blanket round me. Don't want to go in kitchen to wash the dishes as it's too cold to take blanket off.
Feeling lonely and isolated at the moment, just thinking about the question of the week made me think about cutbacks I have had to make, what the future looks like and what help may be available. The government seems to think we should all rely on family/ friends or charity for help, but for one that could not go on forever. What about those who find themselves in a situation where they have no family to help, no close friends and do not feel they can ask for help elsewhere when they know there are millions of other families in similar or even more desperate need of the limited help that charities can provide.
The uncertainty around any benefits increase is deeply concerning and worrying. I have simply come to the end of any cutbacks I can make. As someone living on legacy benefits that has not seen any increase in recent years, the current situation is having a severe impact on the mental and physical health of both my daughter and myself. We are now living in the dark, unable to buy washing powder to wash our clothes and surviving on very basic food that does not need cooking if possible. Without a proper increase in line with living costs I don't know how we are going to get through.
As someone in receipt of legacy benefits, I am hoping that rates of social security are uprated in line with inflation to help buoy folk up against the rising cost of living crisis. But quite honestly, I'm not holding my breath. All income whether through earned wages or social security should be sufficient to meet folks' needs, so uprating the living wage and benefits is the right thing to do. But the recent mini-budget, which PM Liz Truss has already U-turned from has shown us how little this Tory government care for ordinary people in dire straits. As for the financial help on offer for people using heating oil - well it's a travesty. I don't use fuel oil myself, but this is another example of injustice and iniquity within the social security system. People using heating oil should receive the same financial help as anyone else. Better still, windfall tax the energy companies rather than penalising those who can least afford it.
Further to my diary entry of 30th September when I discussed the impact of the "mini budget" having no impact on my finances apart from making them worse, it turns out that Kwasi Kwarteng was considered to be such a poor Chancellor of the Exchequer that he was sacked by PM Liz Truss yesterday. Yes, despite him carrying out her wishes with respect to the economy, she has gone and thrown him under the proverbial bus after only 38 days in post! What this means for the economy now, I can't say. All I can say is that Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor, formerly Health secretary who trashed the NHS during his tenure, including scrapping the student nurse bursary, does not inspire me with confidence. Nor does the constant U-turning by the Government.
Liz Truss has sacked Kwarteng and done a U-turn on taxing the wealthy.
Somehow, I'm not impressed. I feel its all talk and no action.
Awake most of night. Wired to the moon. I have a sore throat, mouth, ear and top of my head. Usually when I'm poorly, I want to sleep so this is unusual. It's 4° on weather app. Pitch black at 7am. I've never liked winter. I crave warm sunshine, when I feel more relaxed.
Making us wait in a huge household crisis just proves this GOVERMENT HAS NO MORALS! I am a single mum, struggling to feed my daughter and pay bills. I cant work due to ill health. I receive very low income. I'm still waiting on energy vouchers for my pre payment meter... I don't know how to claim PIP. I never asked to be ill... I certainly will be voting for a different party next election day.
Yeah, I'm kind of really worried at the moment on the benefit situation. Unfortunately, I'm a disabled, single father of two, my daughter gets Disability Living Allowance and I get Personal Independence Payments. It doesn't go far. We can't have luxuries in life, but it just about covers us and enough bills and stuff. But I'm worried that benefits aren't going to go up in line where they should be and they are going to choose the lowest option, which seems like we're probably going to get that. Although with today's news about the Chancellor going, I think the government is very much in turmoil. And as I say, I've got buyers and morals for being one of the Tory party members that voted for Liz Truss. Give her my vote. But now I'm very concerned. Cost of living is going up, food is going up, but then the benefit rises and child benefit hasn't gone up for God knows how many years to start with. Not that's a lot, but it all helps. But I am very concerned as to how we're going to keep ticking along, or more so in the holidays when I've not got a free school meals, then I'm struggling more.
I've had some good money news this week - thanks to a loophole in the system, my childcare costs for November and December will be completely covered because for a brief period I can use both tax-free childcare and Universal Credit. That's short-lived though and I've come to a decision that I can't afford to keep my job beyond the end of the year. I spend ⅔ of my take home salary on nursery fees and it just isn't sustainable. If Universal Credit childcare element wasn't capped I could afford to carry on but as it is, I only get support towards three days. So we will be back to teetering on the edge of being able to afford things. I feel like I should be further ahead than this in my 30s.
How is uncertainty about benefit changes affecting me?
I am already doing everything I possibly can to stretch what little money we have. I have absolutely no control over what this complete failure of a government decide, I just have to live with it. I am not even thinking about it, all my effort is spent just surviving week to week and trying to keep my family fed, warm, clothed and healthy. I feel I have no control, no power, no influence over what happens. The Tories treat people with disabilities and serious mental illness as if we are less than human. They want us gone. If I had somewhere else to go, I would have gone already.
Yet again we are faced with more financial uncertainty around what’s happening next. I've just been visiting my sister who has been entitled to a £30 food voucher and I have no idea why my family aren't. We can barely afford basic things for our home and the cost of living payment isn’t even touching the sides. The government haven’t raised benefits in line with inflation and the “support” being advertised everywhere is deeply confusing. The 'household support fund' for example, no one really understands what they need to show to qualify?
We need clarity and action to help those on the lowest incomes. I still haven’t turned on our heating at home and I don’t know when we will be. Everything is just too expensive.
I don't use oil but I feel the government has done this £150 for electricity to seen to have done something. The government should be looking into the suppliers and getting them to cap their prices per unit regardless of tax.
This idea in the mini-budget to lower the tax for these suppliers to help them lower market price will be brought to the consumer is laughable.
The companies here in the UK should be capped on their bonuses and income. But this would mean bringing back state owned companies, wouldn't it?
But then again this wouldn't mean they would be all about profit.
Hi. I'm not feeling much about the change in weather and temperatures dropping. I'm kind of used to not having the heating on and the prices are going up, but in the end there's nothing I can do about that. A lot of us have had a lot, a little bit of extra help from the government to help pay the bills. But, yeah, it's going to be cold. We're just going to have to put another layer on as we always do anyway, and try and do our best and try and take comfort from the fact that our homes can actually get that cold to do any home to anybody who is healthy. My family's quite healthy in that regard, so temperatures dropping low level in my house isn't actually a big deal for us compared to a lot of other homes who need that decent temperature.
Big hullabaloo in the local social media chat page. These empty alcohol bottles were sitting next to the bin in the ladies public toilets.
I have questions, who can afford all that drink?
Why put them in the ladies public toilet?
Does that awful metal fold down baby changing table ever get used?
The main local primary school is being closed one week early prior to tattie holidays due to trying to contain a sickness bug.
Somehow this won't work as children from the three primary schools all mix at aftershock clubs.
This leaves parents and carers to find extra childcare and costs .
A different plumber arrived today to fix the leaking hot tap. An hour of looking for stopcock unsuccessfully and finally turned off the water from outside. There was a lot of flowery language coming from the bathroom. Plumber finally changed a washer. He knew who my landlord was, and rolled his eyes.
Another day of frustration of chasing up paid workers to find out if they did their jobs and not getting any further forward.
What is going on? Why doesn't anyone want to support my daughter with ASN?
It personally feels like winter is already here. Where I live it's constantly raining and cold. I truly am struggling to cope with the rise of household costs. I either feed my child or pay my bills, it's a daily struggle.
The king's coronation. I remember saying he'd been an idiot to have it within two years, he needs to sort the economy out first. Then read it'll be next spring. Bloody ridiculous. I guess the timing is deliberate: "forget about all the people who frozen and starved in the winter, look, shiny crown, so pretty." FFS. The tax money that'll be spend on that greedy guy getting a hunk of metal and rock shoved on his head could go towards keep children warm this winter. The money government keeps boasting that it's giving out to support families is a joke, take the old 'let them eat cake' analogy and update to Tories saying, 'I know you're starving but look we gave you a bit of cash we knew would be no where near enough to keep anyone alive. Oh and conveniently timed with the aim that it's spent mostly on buying Christmas gifts because businesses are more important than people. If you're still cold and hungry afterwards that's your fault, should have budgeted better so stop complaining.'
I worry how many people I know will die this winter. And how many I don't know. There's no need for it.
The community larder (posh name for foodbank) are offering blankets, hats, gloves and scarves to the needy who can't afford to put on heating in their homes.
It's being promoted on social media by wealthy councillors with gardens the size of football pitches who don't need to wear hats and gloves in their large homes. They argue that the new proposed windfarm that will be greener and more energy efficient will be an eyesore on the hills in the area.
Although this is Changing Realities, one thing that hasn't actually changed is that I eat an awful lot of toast plus toppings (or none apart from butter, sometimes) for meals, especially when money is tight. But the main reason is that I feel so emotionally hollow and empty most of the time that I lack the motivation to cook. I'm quite able to cook and have a good repertoire of cooking skills, but it seems all so pointless at times, especially when my 17 year old has a limited palate due to being autistic. Food just isn't enjoyable any more.
Anxious. The cold feels colder this year and the worry over food and heating has gone from 'winter is coming' to 'winter is here'. I've managed to get hot water bottles for my kids, so that helps them a lot, but they're not cheap. Need to get them bigger warmer pyjamas when the cost of living money comes through next month.
I'm putting heating on at night time now, after dinner, because oven warms us well enough, and then I turn it off at breakfast. So the kids can wake up comfortable with the cold mornings and get to school. I wrap up with layers in the day and go out when I can afford the buses. I know where the 'warm banks' are near by and I know when it gets really cold places I can go when kids are at school. On weekends doing physical activities will help and I've got the winter jumpers out of storage now. I'm thankful I brought thermals for the kids last year, they'll be a little snug but will help I hope. I will get some more blankets as soon as I can afford too, also.
Other worries are over food. I can't cut my food budget anymore, I already go without breakfast everyday and lunch most days for kids to get what food they need as well as doing what activities I can for them. I've had to do a grocery shop of cupboard staples needed for winter, herbs and spices, beans and pasta and non perishables, on sodding Klarna. How the hell do I live in a country, a supposed world leader, when I get so little on Universal Credit that I have to borrow money to buy groceries!?! It makes no sense.
The voucher for £66 electricity arrived in the post this afternoon. Walked in the rain to the Post Office only to be told that they, "had done too many of them already today... try another post office or try again tomorrow". 🤷♀️🤔😳
Tomorrow morning will be walking back. Why is there a daily limit on how many people can receive an energy top up? Another deliberate inconvenience to punish the poor.
Bus services into the city are being cancelled for the next few days by Stagecoach. Councillors are involved in a meeting to get this sorted... not quick enough. Feels like we are back in lockdowns.
Excuse the language. Life is unfair. We are now a self-serving society characterised by greed. The quiet ones left behind.
I'm honestly terrified about coming into winter! My whole house is electric and we have storage heaters and they cost an absolute bomb! I just don't know how I'm going to keep the house warm and I have three young children.
With the seasons changing finances are becoming even more concerning. Keeping the house warm, maintaining my car so I am able to get to work and also the darker nights and colder days mean there is a large celebration looming, Christmas. I am still paying off the debt I couldn't pay on time because of UC debt deductions that I wasn't aware I owed.
How do I afford Christmas this year, without incurring more debts?
It’s getting really cold here and, boy, are we feeling it. The cold and damp cause me more debilitating pain than I normally suffer and we are craving a good “stick to your ribs” meal but even a tin of corned beef is £2.50 before you even think about the fresh veg.
I love the autumn and winter seasons normally, it’s the time of year that is reminiscent of cosy times. Sadly this year I am hating it, it is already so cold and with no way to cost effectively heat our home we are already feeling it. On top of that food prices are creeping higher and higher in what feels like an almost daily leap so the kids are never feeling full and satisfied. The idea that old fashioned, cheap, fresh filling foods like stews, casseroles, hotpots, etc are just not attainable for us as a larger family, which is terrible fresh food should never be a luxury.
I like Autumn - not so much the soggy grey days, but the colder clearer crisp mornings when there's a nip of frost in the air. A relief from the extreme Summer heatwave which I found really difficult to cope with given that I am peri-menopausal with the full complement of hot flushes (aka "power surges" lol) & b. neurologically impaired as a consequence of disability which makes temperature regulation particularly difficult. It's easier for me to warm up than it is to cool down. The colours of the leaves turning on the trees is a sight to behold. The clocks don't go back yet until 30th October & I'm resisting the urge to put the heating on until then. In fact the great thing about Autumn is that some days it's warmer outside my house than indoors, such is the standard of insulation in my home. But that in itself causes difficulties when I need to work at my desk or just want to relax - it's too cold to concentrate. Thankfully my eldest son bought me an Oodie for Christmas last year - an oversized fleecy hooded sweatshirt & it's fab - it keeps me toasty & I wear it most days. As for my energy bills - the unit cost went up on October 1st. We are not really using any more energy than before - I have a smart meter & am well aware of my usage, but the energy company still want to hike my monthly direct debit up from £115 (it used to be £86 prior to the cost of living crisis) to get this - £317 PER MONTH!!! even though I:
1. Qualify for the Energy Bill Support Scheme (£400 off everyone's bills over the next the next 6 months)
2. Qualify for enhanced Cost of Living Payments due to being in receipt of ESA(Support Group) & PIP;
3. Qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which is due to open again in November; 4 Qualify for Cold Weather Payments (if & when we have any cold spells)
4. My usage is being estimated based on similar properties i.e. 3 bedroomed semi detached, yet only 2 people live here now.
Whilst Government interventions are needed & very welcome, surely instead of "sticking plaster solutions" on an ad hoc basis, it would be better if
1. Energy Companies were windfall taxed on excessive profits &
2. the whole Social Security system be redesigned so it works better for everyone.
But the current Tory government under the disastrous leadership of Liz Truss aren't willing to do that, because it means their cronies won't get richer at ordinary folks expense, such is their belief in "Trickle Down Economics". The only thing trickling down for ordinary people now is a whole load of effluent - heaped on our heads & in our waterways.
The uncertainty is what gets to me. Will we have enough food, will the money stretch long enough, won’t we be able to live any other way than the new normal? Pandemic levels of poverty are definitely back, as I have even seen the poor rough sleeping man take up his space near the bins in front of Morrison’s bus stop, which he has not done since you guessed it: the P-A-N-D-E-M-I-C! I will not be present buying any Christmas gifts, because it could be something that will make my kids go without, in terms of meals. Brace yourselves, maybe next year we will all turn into sour milk, and just like Britain’s economy, the rich who will only get richer, will be watching us go under, while they pour us down the drain.
Good to see local SNP councillor taking on board the difficulties of the bus service to and from the city.
As Nicola Sturgeon said on the news. #IdetesttheTories
I hate the Tories and everything they stand for.
We're fundraising for dance uniforms for the kids dance club.
The wealthier parents don't want to get involved. They don't see why they should.
It's easy for them to go to the bank and hand over money.
Fundraising can be enjoyable but hard work as the few poorer parents do all the work and everyone benefits... what's that about?
I learnt from reading other people's diary entries about 'hunger headaches'. I am sad that this is something we have to suffer but I am relieved to realise why I have a headache all day every day, and that I am not the only one. I get a few hours relief after I eat my meal in the evening. My energy levels are very low, my mood is rock bottom and I feel cold constantly. There is no fun or joy to be found anywhere when you are hungry all the time.
Usually coming into autumn/winter is my favourite time of year. I love making memories with my kids and the feeling of all the holidays. This year the closer the holidays get, and the colder it gets, the more dread is starting to creep in. I’m really aware of how tight money constantly is already at the minute without knowing the heating and lights will need to be on more and will be needed earlier. Then adding Christmas lights to that is another worry. I’m also well aware that we won’t be able to do as many Christmas-related activities this year, if any, because of the rising prices. Our heating is oil so we know we won’t get help with it either like people with gas heating will and it’s nearly 3 times the price we paid for it last year.
I’m managing to resist putting the heating on but I don’t like how cool the house is, particularly first thing on a morning when we’re getting ready for school/work. Yes, we’re ok to layer up and use blankets, but I wonder if this will exacerbate feelings of depression as we spend an increasing amount of time in our beds watching TV and scrolling our phones (simply because it’s the warmer place to be).
I’m feeling doom and gloom about Halloween, the half term holiday and Christmas as all of these signal spending money. It frightens me that I feel as though the world is teetering on the edge of something major and traumatic.
It's lonely and not many people are patient or as understanding as they say when you first tell them you have a hearing difficulty.
It's hard work asking them to repeat themselves and trying to guess what they say.
It's mental health day
It's that day for me everyday
Brain fog and short term memory
Tearful and tired.
Don't want to be here. Not dead, just on a warm beach in the sun, on my own to relax and not worry.
Migraines are a big part of my life. I'm told to change my diet and not stress.
Yet when I asks for help, it's not there.
Where is the support from social work and healthcare?
Promises to come back with solutions are not happening.
I given up emailing and phoning as nobody gets back to me. I feel failed by the system
Just wanted to come on and tell you a few things I just seen on TV to help save a bit of money in these awful awful times.
Turning your heat down to 18 degrees instead of 20 can save £80 a year. There would of been a time I would of laughed at this.
Also, if you heat your water for a bath and have to add cold to it then you have your hot water temperature too high.
With the changing weather & coming of winter I think this is going to be by far the worse I have had to live through. Struggling with health problems and the rising costs is starting to become unbearable for both myself & my daughter. As a diabetic I suffer from poor circulation which becomes a real problem for me during the cold winter months trying to keep warm, but despite the help people are being given with fuel costs I do not think I will be able to afford the cost of heating our home at all this year. In previous years I have been very restricted with when the heating can go on but now I just can't take the risk of receiving a bill I am unable to pay.
As it is it has now been over two weeks since I cooked or ate a hot meal, surviving on sandwiches and snacks that are cheaper to buy and do not involve the use of fuel. I have now restricted the use of a kettle for warm drinks.
This winter is going to tough on the two of us, I am just not sure how the mental health of my daughter or my own mental health & physical health are going to cope in the coming months.
For the last 10 years as a single parent, life has been financially difficult.
10 years of feeling like I'm trying to keep my head above water.
10 years of anxiety, dread and feelings of less than worthy.
Mentally exhausted, juggling income and bills, as well as searching for a permanent home.
The upside: no stress of arguing and fear of abuse.
I have a mix of anxiety and dread for winter.
I feel my daughter and myself have been abandoned by support services. Income has dropped since my daughter left school as the council cannot offer support due to lack of funding.
It hasn't been the first winter/Christmas we sat freezing cold and I vowed not to allow my daughter to go through that situation again. What I find frustrating and difficult to understand is why every other council in Scotland promotes energy schemes with local charities to provide funding for those in need.. but again mine do not. It's frightening to be ignored by family, the community and the council. Are we that worthless?
I am scared as the season changes.
I am worried how me and my son will survive in this winter as energy prices rise and heating up our small flat will be difficult.
I got paid my UC a few days early today (sometimes this happens when payment is due on a Monday, it comes on a weekend instead).
I took my daughters to soft play, and after a few snacks the total cost came to almost £30. This is a rare treat for us as we can’t afford to do paid activities very often. It’s such a shame because they absolutely love being there. I feel like a bad mum sometimes because I can’t do simple things with them without worrying about the price tag.
Tomorrow we will have a park day and will have to wait a while for the next soft play day.
As a household we have been turning off absolutely everything at the mains which isn’t being used. We have been limiting the amount of washes we do in one day to save electricity. I’m so thankful we don’t drive as if we did the petrol costs on top of energy prices would have crushed us.
I haven’t turned our heating on yet, and I’m not sure I will this winter. I'm going to try everything I can to keep the house warm in other ways. I’ve just bought hot water bottles for my daughters, and hope they will keep them warm at night.
I usually really like the winter and dark nights but this year I think the worry of the cost of gas/electricity stops a lot of wanting the colder weather to come. Then, with the added thought of Christmas round the corner, the changes in season and the cost that comes with it causes anxiety and fear.
For me, I would love to live in summer days and sit in the garden. With winter nights it's cooler and easier to sleep because I’m menopausal. BUT it hasn’t even got really cold yet over here and all I ever think about is, can I turn the heat on to dry my washing? Can I leave that wee lamp on in my room to make it more cosy for when I go to bed? Do I need the lights under the kitchen cabinets on? Will I just sit in the dark with the light of the TV on? Will I put a blanket round me instead of the heat? Feel like I could heat the room with my brain constantly going. No matter what I’m doing I’m calculating in my head what it will cost. Will I buy a flask to put the rest of the water in after I boil the kettle or will I just boil it again later? Always thinking, always worrying.
Woke up with a plumber at the door to fix the bath tap. I'm sure it's a quick job of replacing the washer. I forgot he was coming today.
He was abrupt and rude. Stomped about, looking for the stopcock and failed to find it.
He went away and said he would return by lunchtime. He has not.
Goodness knows how much hot water is wasted from the slow running tap. It's been running constantly for 5 days.
I'm paying nearly £700 a month for a 2 bed home with the oven not working and a running tap.
My landlord lives abroad and the letting agents are slow at answering emails.
I'm anxious to complain as my previous landlord turned aggressive. I keep paying my rent on time every month but I'm concerned for the energy bills.
With the change of the season coming so far we have not been too bad. Where we are it has been pretty warm the last few days but with the winter coming I'm concerned for my mother, she is under state pension age but is not getting any extra help. She's got disabilities which this winter will be pretty rough if she was to not be able to afford the heating I will be bringing her to live with me if her bills become too high and she starts to struggle. We are on benefits also but i will make sure my mum is warm she doesn't feel the same way, however, she hates the idea of me bringing her to live with us and doesn't want to impose. I'd rather that than her freeze the winter is going to be very difficult and its going to be colder than past years we've seen in a very long time, With the 3 hour planned blackouts as a threat as well, I am very concerned. I am stocking up on candles and battery powered lights and batteries to be able to make sure we have light. I started doing this when they initially started raising costs in March as I could feel it coming. The heating is going to be very expensive this year, the Prime Minister's plan to cap at £2500 is pretty shocking. It did nothing to protect our vulnerable people and the planned blackouts bring uncertainty for thousands if not millions. I'm very concerned for the people who need protecting, I just hope we finally come together as humans living as one and help because we need to help each other and care for one another in times like these. Everyone can save a life this winter by checking on elderly and vulnerable adults and children. Help where we can, however we are able to, and spare blankets and jackets could be given to those with none and food donated if you have the means. We can all get through this is we stick together and I hope that we do make it through the winter with our heating being on and our light not being out. Stay safe and take care.
I'm definitely feeling the weather change. I think because we have had a good summer with high temperatures the drop feels a lot colder. Either that or it's me getting older and more immobile and I'm starting to feel every cold draught, etc. I'm normally not one to put the heating on until the 1st of November but I am sorely tempted to do now. I find I ache more, get headaches with the cold and after just getting my utility bill with the increases, it's a real struggle to either eat or heat the house. In fact, as food prices are rising I won't be able to do either.
Still in comparison to the many people homeless or living in their cars, I'm lucky. I'm still resentful that in 2022 I'm forced to live like this because I'm too disabled to work. Although I'm due another DWP medical and no doubt they will deem me 'Fit to Work' even though I have multiple disabilities.
The change of weather is harder still for young families. Older kids can understand why they need to wrap up, wear a coat indoors, etc. But small children and babies are more vulnerable to the cold.
As I am an older person, I hate it when people of my generation baby state, "it was cold in our day we had no central heating but we survived". Yes, but how many of us have arthritis, problems with joints, hacking coughs, COPD from a lifetime of deprivation, damp, mouldy, substandard back to back houses that were cold. Just because we survived it, doesn't make it right. It should be every child's right in the UK, and the world, to be warm and well fed. Sadly this year there will be many deaths and hospitalisation of many people, children included. How heart-breaking is it that parents feel like failures because they can't keep their homes warm or food on the table, through no fault of their own, but due to greedy energy suppliers making profits and a government that has seriously mismanaged the economy.
Everyone I know is scared of putting their heating on and that's a diverse section of society from full time workers, students and pensioners, to the disabled.
My daughter is away at university in a shared house and for the first time ever, she has asked me to knit her a scarf, gloves, hat, blankets and shawls to keep warm. Normally she sneers at my knitting but suddenly I'm in demand (at last!). A student loan doesn't give enough for heating either and then sadly they have to pay the loan back with interest, which is rising.
Rising energy supplies is the sole topic of conversation in my area.
Changing seasons are always hard as I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder as well as living with Bipolar. I hate the grey rainy days! It feels there is nothing worth getting out of bed for anymore. Everything is more difficult, less enjoyable and more work. Our clothes get wet and muddy walking the dog, then I have to use the tumble dryer in winter as the clothes take days to dry without any heating and they smell musty before they ever dry. It is cheaper to use the dryer than to put the heater on. We have 2 sleeping bags on our bed and will just keep adding blankets as it gets colder. We wearing big fluffy hoodies in the lounge at night and even the dog wears fleece pyjamas and has a sleeping bag at night. I can cope with the cold, but the rain and grey skies really make depression so much more intense. If I had plenty of money I would buy us all new waterproof jackets, trousers and good boots, keep the house cosy and warm and use the SAD light 12 hours a day.
It is a nightmare for me to cope with this winter. Living with the children and the energy cost is really a nightmare to me. I don't know how to cope.
Feeling very scared for this winter as energy price rises this October and don't know how to cope with this bill. The big question is,
HEATING or EATING?
What will I choose? I don't have the answer. Do you?
At the moment, it's getting a little bit cold. The heating, unfortunately, has been on, but what I've been doing is putting the heating on for half an hour to an hour just to take the chill off and then turning it straight back off.
Generally our heating goes on to take the edge off because we've got a very funny build. Our flat is unfortunately not very well insulated at the moment. We have wall insulation, but our end wall is a solid state construction, not brick. So one half of the flat is warm and the other half is not so warm. And we also suffer condensation damp problems as well. So, I have to have the heating on to take the edge off. In the mornings I normally have my back door open just to bring some fresh air into the place, get some air in before the chill hits. Then in the afternoon, normally the heating goes on, as I said, for about half an hour to an hour and then that's it, it's off. I'm on a prepayment gas meter and I'm very conscious of how much gas I'm using and I do try to avoid the oven as well. So I've got the gas for the heating.
I am supposed to go to the food pantry this morning. As a member we pay £3.50 a week to get 10 food items that are all near their use by date, donated by the public or supermarket waste. I have been going for 4 years but recently it is much harder to choose items that we want to eat. They stock fewer meal making items and lots more crisps, snack bars and microwave meals. A few people queue for 3 hours before it opens, every week, to get the best items of which there are only usually a couple. Most of the staff and volunteers are lovely. It has helped us a lot as it used to be enough food to get through the weekend.
The Tories are corrupt, criminals, they don't hide it. They rub our faces in it.
Very, very cruel.
Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for Aberdeenshire, is more concerned about how wind turbines will look ok in the landscape than the benefits of greener and cheaper wind power.
A relief to hear the news today that the Scottish Government has passed the 'Tenant Protection Bill' during the cost of living crisis.
SCARF is a Scottish charity that provides support with energy saving tips, finding the cheapest energy provider and ensuring the tariff is correct. It also offers grants for emergency top ups of pre payment meters.
SCARF reach out to councils to work together to identify and support those in need in the community.
Yet Aberdeenshire Council refuse to engage with charities and deny support is needed for poverty.
If this is not discrimination then what is it?
Awoke covered in sweat but freezing cold.
Still dark outside.
Tears running down my face.
News and media is depressing. North Korea is shooting off missiles, I'm making a a conscious decision not to look at it.
Difficult when the loneliness get the better of me.
I'm mentally drained today.
Spent two hours on the phone chasing up council workers who said they will make referrals to other charities to support my daughter and haven't.
It's getting harder to support her on my own as her mental health decreases again.
I keep hearing I must 'self-care', how can anyone self-care when every service has been removed due to funding cuts?
Having a problem with schooling not only is the school my child goes to absolutely ridiculous, they do nothing to help with the cost of living: they don't provide adequate school meals for children. Put it this way, school has between 82 and 100 children in each year (including reception), so around 700 children. The menus is so badly arranged you have a choice of 2 set meals which you cannot change at all and an option for jacket potatoes. I've been in the office complaining. The catering staff have said there's less than 100 school meals ordered today which doesn't surprise me as they are not really child friendly meals. I am one of many who's children are entitled to free school meals but due to the lack of child friendly options my child only gets 2 or 3 out of the school meals each week and is starving when she gets home because of how small they are and that she's either rushed to eat or her food is taken away and binned when she is not finished. That being said the school receives money for the children daily regardless if they eat or not. Surely this is something that could be saving money elsewhere if they were given money for the food children were actually eating. Seeing as there are so many parents who give their kids packed lunches because the menu is so badly arranged that I know of 4 parents who are entitled and get free meals from the school that are paid for by the government but they don't eat them at all is this the same elsewhere? And what ever the answer is yes or no why is it that the menus at schools are so inadequately sized and better child friendly options available? Is anyone else having the issue of their children not being allowed to take their water bottles to the lunch hall and/or out with them at lunch to drink because my kids school refuses to let any child do this no matter how many parents complain? It's sickening. I also found out recently, because of making a formal complaint to the school which remains unresolved, that they give our children jobs to do and I'm not joking one of the jobs is to pick up dirty towels off the bathroom floor that aren't their own dirty towels.
They refuse to let the children go to the toilet when they need to which has resulted in several children wetting themselves and being left to be a complete mess and lose confidence as well. I have complained about these issues formally to the school and they have told me, basically to, 'mind my own business' and refusing to let other parents come to the meeting with me. If anyone understands this I would love to hear because to me it seems that because I have it in me to make complaints and handle the backlash from the school. Other parents are too scared to complain through fear the school will make things harder for them and the school knows that they don't want to do their job and they refuse to take any responsibility for their shameful staff who brush everything under the rug and make our children do their jobs for them. They send more homework home for us to do with our children than they do in the class so, what are they being paid for? Where is the extra money going that's given to the school? Because it's not going on equipment or food, I've had to step in and buy items for the children's outside activities before because the school couldn't afford them. I guess I'm angry at the school but they seem to make out I'm insane for believing my child and not them who lied so many times and call me aggressive when I'm standing up for my child and the children who I've known for the last 3 years, who are so amazing. It's been a problem for years now, if this is happening in all schools it's something that needs to be dealt with, and the money going to the school everywhere for school dinners that aren't being eaten could be put back into play in areas it's more needed or school should be made to make all school dinners more child friendly.
Feeling happy today, got all the jobs done around the house. I wish I could hang washing out as its taking longer to dry now. I'm going away this weekend with the husband for date night while kids at there nannas.
I started a new job a few weeks ago. As a full time carer to my daughter, I am in receipt of Carers Allowance (CA). However, if I am even one pound over the threshold of my earnings, my CA will get taken away. I have now received my first wages and I’m only £30 under the threshold so thankfully my CA will continue. I’m worried in case they give me a Christmas bonus - will I lose all my entitlements? I’m only working 8.5 hours a week. It’s inhumane to have these kind of worries when all I’m trying to do is bring some extra cash in. Even with my new job, I still can’t afford basic bills and necessities at home.
The last few weeks I’ve been super busy talking about the cost of living crisis. It’s sad that lived experiences and real life stories may fall on deaf ears because there is no operating government in Northern Ireland. The orange and green war continues and it’s such a shambles but at the detriment of innocent people. We need an effective government who get us, who listen and who will stand up and fight against poverty. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the outcome will be but winter is looking bleak.
I am getting very worried about the budget and these U-turns, the rich are now being taxed more again, but being a single father and disabled not being able to work, I rely on benefits. But benefits are not going up in line with Inflation, the government seems to be penalising those that can't work.
Put the heating on for 2 hours to dry the kids uniform - it cost £3!!!
Yet again the Tories are only thinking about the rich. They only want to make the rich richer and manage to ignore the majority of the public that are struggling to get by.
The Scottish government gave some funds to a charity to help pay off bills in May 2022. I was fortunate they paid £400 straight to Scottish Gas for gas and electric.
Last week I received a bill for £26.16 which I paid.
Today I received a bill for £330.79 from June to Oct 2022.
How can this be? I'm too tired to cry.
Need to go to Citizens Advice as I've heard people are on hold to energy companies for an hour.
Neighbour came to door with her young child asking advice if the spots on the wee one looks like chickenpox.
Yes seen them before many times from working in schools and nurseries.
She asked if I could pick up something from chemist. The 2 chemsits in town have run out of calamine lotion and suggested antihitimaines and a lotion.
£11.98 later I returned to neighbour who thanked me with a wailing child in her arms and closed the door.
She hasn't paid me back for the the antihistamines and lotion.
4.20am: awake again. Cold. The weather forecast was right. Amber alert for wind. The metal lid for the coal bunker is banging.
Went to bed early last night instead of putting heating on. Now awake at 1am, my nose is cold, I feel shaky and have palpations as didn't eat my dinner yesterday to try and save food costs.
Keep craving toast with warm melted real butter.
Hope I can get back to sleep again soon as have an early appointment with psychology. At least its online and don't have to travel.
The mini-budget has been disgusting to listen to and watch the voices on social media reacting to it.
Again, we see the narrative peddled that people on social security are lazy, that we make the choice to be poor, that there is well paid jobs out there for us. Well, they don't live near me! Jobs are paid at a minimum wage and as a single parent I would need to work more than 40 hours a week to just survive.
What about childcare? What about homework? What about my health?
None of this appears to matter - just pushing people out to kill themselves working in hard labour for too many hours. No one is asking why our wages are so poor, why we all haven't seen the levelling up!
We don't all get driven to work, or free working meals or a subsidy to claim mileage to drive to work or rent a second home closer to where we work. This all comes out of our poorly paid wages leaving us with nothing to live on and give our children the opportunity to thrive.
I think the budget was absolutely shameful and shows exactly how incompetent the prime minister and her chancellor are and what they stand for. They would like to see the poorest people in the country either starve or freeze to death in what is going to be an extraordinarily cold winter with the price of everything rising and children pretending to eat from empty lunch boxes to hide from their classmates how little money they have. It breaks my heart to know this and the fact that those in charge also know this and still give the richest people in Britain a tax cut to benefit them and party over the economy nearly collapsing and the bank of England having to borrow bonds to cover their mess up so that England wasn't shunned from the world economy. The government should be ashamed of themselves. The fact they are trying to go back on promises made by Sunak when he was chancellor to raise benefits inline with inflation, I think they are actually going to kill a lot of people this winter by not helping those who need the help. The most wealthiest even say publicly that it is not right what they are doing I don't understand how we went from Boris Johnson, who was himself flawed, but was trying to help those who needed it without borrowing to this absolutely unethical, out of touch and completely unsympathetic Liz Truss. Why is she even Prime Minister? We don't want her as the leader of our country. Why is she not being forced out of office like Boris Johnson was? Why is her Chancellor not fired for his disgraceful mini-budget that was against the countries best interests that nearly crumbled the economy? We need people who are competent and know how to run the country properly not these fools who are destroying them from the inside. The mini budget should be reversed there is billions of pounds at play. Instead of helping the poorest in society manage they are intending on actually reducing the benefits making more people in Britain end up in poverty. The people who will suffer the most are the elderly, the vulnerable and our children. Liz Truss is playing games and gambling on peoples lives and she's getting away with it. How can they grow the economy if the people they need to grow it are too sick from pneumonia from not being able to heat their homes? Homeless from not being able to pay their rent or mortgages? Too weak from starvation due to not eating to feed their families? Or dead from not having the means to feed themselves? What kind of people are leading the country? Why is that the poorest people already starving on barely any money being left behind and the wealthiest people being given extra help they don't need? I'm not going to be voting for them they need to resign.
My local council needs to stop boxing up human beings.
The 'non-box-tickers' are pushed aside and forgotten about including children and vulnerable adults.
A half-hearted attempt.
My daughter with autism feels like she doesn't exist.
Councillors believe this is how to deal with poverty. How much do they think UC is worth?
Please stop these pathological narcissists. Stop this cruelty.
I am a solo working parent! Life is busy, it is extremely busy, and I cannot keep on top of it all. I work just over 20 hours a week. I earn not much more than minimum wage, my commute is more or less 2 hours one way (this includes the school drop off) and at times I'm not paid for the work I do. I'm out of the house from 7:30- 19:00.
Now, how would I find the time to work more hours?
Of course we would have liked to see an improvement
of the system. Presently, it is only wishful thinking, however, there has been a turnaround in circumstances and the government are dropping the abolition of the 45p top tax rate. I'm pleased something has been done. Pleased to know our Prime Minister, Liz Truss and the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng do not have free reign in that respect.
I do, however, fully expect them to make those claiming benefits suffer further. This is only the beginning...
Changed from a joint UC claim to a single. Wasn't told I would need to input my childcare information again, so I'm now £350 down and having to argue with them to get it paid. Why can't they just tell us what is needed of us when a change is made?
The budget, the original budget, was quite honestly a joke. How they can justify offering tax cuts to people (the tax bracket range is insane!) and some of the comments made by Tory MPs on the media (about them quite literally not caring for the poor). They need to boost the economy from the top and talking about 'weeding the garden' and there's been some disgusting comments made but I do believe that that's now been changed. I'd be interested to see what else changed from this budget. So they're not now getting rid of the 45% tax bracket but does that mean that they're going to be offering tax cuts to the lower end so that those of us that aren't earning anywhere near the tax bracket range, are we going to be getting some kind of tax relief where we can spend our money back in the economy? So it will be interesting to see what comes of that now but I'm glad that they've done a U-turn. I don't know whether they've done it as a, "look - we're now not doing that because we're listening to you", and they're trying to make themselves look good. Kind of like they've done with the whole energy price cap thing where they're scaring people into thinking it's going to go to six or £7000 and then all cap it at two and a half. Which quite honestly is an embarrassment and it's an attempt by them to make them look like they're saviours when, quite honestly, it was probably never going to be that kind of money in the first place and this was planned all along. It just seems like everybody is playing games and I've never trusted the Tory party anyway, but this makes me trust them even less. So, let's just hope that we can force a general election, honestly, get them out, let's see what happens.
I think the original budget was a joke and the new one (even if all they're changing is the tax bracket range - keeping that in) then that's better because that's £45 billion that we're not losing from the economy. The debt that the government are in is obscene. Which isn't our fault. It's them spending the money on us but it would be nice if we could get back to the lower end of the scale. Let's be honest.
This little mini-budget gave some hope to low income families, but at the same time, due to its immediate effect interest rates have increased and the rate of the pound dramatically fell - the biggest in the last 30 years. Government borrowing has went too far nowadays where the Bank of England may intervene. We are so worried to get help from Government but at the same time due to interest rates rising and the fall in pound value we are worried what we can save will not have value.
We were expecting this budget to provide us with some help from the government. The government have declared initiatives such as cutting taxes and stamp duty. Cutting taxes will be implemented from April 2023 but it is needed now to save some money in our hands to cover up our increase living cost.
We are told it's our fault we don't recycle enough, yet it's OK for the wealthy to take private planes and pollute the air.
We get told to budget properly but it's the tax payer who pays for MPs lunches, travel and heating bills.
Yet many can't see this is wrong.
Absolutely deplorable, immoral mini budget. As usual penalise the sick, people with disabilities, parents who can only work a few hours, etc and to then give tax relief to the top earners. It's incredible! It's like something out of a Blackadder script but this is no comedy set in feudal times, this is an evil policy.
Truss' manifesto of wealth trickling down is absurd. I thought last year was bad, struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic but that was just training for the winter ahead. The total mismanagement of the country is punishing families, single people, the working, unemployed and pensioners. There should be a general election or better still, a revolution. The economy is on it's knees, small and large businesses are going, the pound is so depressed it's on Prozac and on a 7 year waiting list for NHS counselling and mental health services.
I don't need a crystal ball to see that this winter many people will freeze to death and be admitted to hospital with health conditions related to hyperthermia. I predict homelessness due to rising mortgage rates/rent increases and more and more children in abject poverty. Whilst the rich will get richer and the energy companies will make great profits for their shareholders.
I feel the violence. It's not physical. It's in the pit of my stomach, the feeling of dread, anxiety and fear of what is next.
Who set the tax rates?
Who set the cost of living?
Who allowed energy companies to charge huge amounts?
Who set the amount of paid compassionate leave for a funeral of a family member?
Who sets the amount of benefits and made the rules to go with them?
I’m worrying! How are we going to cope this winter? It’s only just autumn and already extremely cold where we live. I feel like I’m already constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul now I have nothing for either of them and we are sinking.
The mini-budget is a joke, it is Conservatives helping Conservatives. Let’s face it, until they starve off the poor, they will not be happy. I’m not surprised by what they decided but I am disgusted that it has been allowed at some point somebody has to stop this craziness before us living in true poverty start dying from lack of nutrition, cold or the mental anguish caused by forcing us to make impossible cuts.
Today's news, 'The Tories are destroying the UK'. I'm asking myself am I in the minority?
Are others ignoring what's going on or living a different lifestyle with a higher income than me?
It's a feeling of being bullied and abused.
Today was a good week, participated in strike action for fairer pay, decreased workload and #RespectFE, then managed to have meeting about our workload with member of SLT. Seems like changes are being sorted, so went into weekend feeling more positive than I have in a while.
I think it’s disgusting that the richer sections of society who have barely suffered at all in the cost of living crisis are now receiving the most relief. The government have no idea how much we are suffering- and to push more people into greater hours at work disregards completely peoples individual circumstances. I work 8 hours a week as I am a full time carer to my disabled daughter. If pushed to work more, I will lose precious time with her and be sanctioned by Carers Allowance. This is an awful way to further penalise the working class.