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Jamie Stone calls for 'urgent action' by UK government to support disabled people

By Alan Hendry

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Jamie Stone: 'Disabled people need the UK government to listen and support them through rising costs.'
Jamie Stone: 'Disabled people need the UK government to listen and support them through rising costs.'

Local MP Jamie Stone has called for "urgent action" by the UK government to help disabled people through the cost-of-living crisis.

He is among the group of more than 40 cross-party MPs and peers who have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt along with the disability equality charity Scope calling for further support.

The letter urges the Westminster government to introduce a social tariff and bring forward the cost-of-living payments this winter.

In the run-up to the cross-party plea, Scope launched an open letter calling for a social tariff supported by nearly 35,000 people across the country.

The charity says three in five disabled people feel they are being ignored by the government. Scope’s letter brings the concerns of disabled people over rising costs directly to the Chancellor and seeks his response.

The MPs and peers point out that half of disabled people surveyed by Scope say they won't be using heating this winter and a third say they will have to skip meals.

"We welcome the government's decision to provide further cost-of-living payments but these must come this winter to prevent disabled people from falling into debt and destitution,” they state.

Mr Stone, the Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: “I am proud to support Scope’s campaign for further cost-of-living support for disabled people. Today I wrote to the Chancellor, alongside 40 colleagues, to call on urgent government action.

"Disabled people in the far north need the government to listen and support them through rising costs."

Louise Rubin, head of policy and campaigns at Scope, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is hitting disabled people the hardest. Disabled people cannot afford to wait for more government support.

"Today we join with MPs and peers from all parties to urge the government to act now and introduce a discounted or social energy tariff for disabled people.”

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