SRUK's response to the Autumn Statement

SRUK asks the Chancellor to consider the impact of changes to disability benefits on people with scleroderma and we renew our call for more support with energy bills for those that need it most.

Following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, which was announced today (Wednesday 22 November), Sue Farrington, CEO of Scleroderma and Raynaud's UK (SRUK) said:

"We welcome the Chancellor's announcement to increase Universal Credit and disability benefits, but the decision to remove people's benefits if they do not get a job is draconian. Many people with scleroderma, particularly those who are severely affected, want to work but are not always able to. Tasks such as typing, writing, walking, climbing stairs and sitting for long periods can be extremely challenging. If their scleroderma affects their lungs or other internal organs, the ability to work becomes even more challenging. Even a work placement may be too much for some. The last thing they need is the worry and stress of their benefits being stopped.

"We are also disappointed by the lack of support for people with Raynaud's Phenomenon, which affects many people with scleroderma. This is a chronic and extremely painful condition and keeping warm is the best way to prevent agonising flare-ups, but we continue to hear how many people are still struggling with high energy bills - so much so that some are opting to keep their heating off or essentially choosing between food and paying their energy bill. We urge the government to reconsider and at the very least extend the Cost of Living Payments to help protect the health and wellbeing of those living with Raynaud's."

You can read more about our Energy Bills campaign here