Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK) has expressed its disappointment that people with Raynaud’s have been ignored once again by the government.

The charity’s reaction comes following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, in which he outlined the government’s tax and spending plans. These included:  

  • an increase in the Energy Price Guarantee from next April for 12 months, with the average household facing bills of £3,000 
  • cost of living payments to those on means-tested benefits, disability benefits and pensioners  
  • the state pension, benefits and tax credits to rise in line with inflation (10.1%) 
  • a rise in the Energy Profits Levy on oil and gas companies from 25% to 35% from January until March 2028. 

Sue Farrington, SRUK Chief Executive, said: “While we welcome the government’s commitment to supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society, people with Raynaud’s have been ignored.  

“Raynaud’s is a painful condition that can severely affect your quality of life. Staying warm is key to keeping the condition under control, so people with Raynaud’s typically rely on their energy more than most to heat their homes and themselves.  

“We are pleased the Energy Profits Levy will increase from January, but it is disappointing that our call to use some of the money raised to provide much-needed support to those with conditions like Raynaud’s has not been heard. Likewise, it is good news that the Energy Price Guarantee will be extended, but we fear the increase to £3,000 from next April could still mean energy is unaffordable for many.   

“Household energy prices are already sky-high and we are hearing countless stories from people about how terrified they are of the cold weather coming. How they are choosing to keep their heating off and risk painful flare-ups. How some are even cutting back on food for themselves and their family in order to afford their energy bills. This shouldn’t be happening in a civilised society. 

“We recognise that some people with Raynaud’s will likely benefit from some of the government’s measures announced today, but many will get nothing. And yet every person with this condition is under increasing financial strain, which is having a detrimental impact on people’s health and wellbeing. People with Raynaud’s must not be frozen out of government support, especially during this difficult time.” 

Earlier this month, SRUK wrote an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to provide a package of support for people with Raynaud’s. We will continue to call on the government to do this by: 

  • using a proportion of the money raised by the Energy Profits Levy on oil and gas companies to provide financial assistance to those with conditions like Raynaud’s whose health depends on affordable heating  
  • including Raynaud’s as a criterion for the annual Warm Homes Discount.