Rising energy and fuel bills and the increase in the cost of living is forcing unpaid carers in Lincolnshire into debt
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent mini-budget did nothing to help unpaid carers in Lincolnshire. Charities have warned that more people are going to be forced into debt while others are going to have to choose between eating and heating.
The struggles that families and unpaid carers are now facing in Lincolnshire have been ignored once again by the government. The mini-budget did nothing to address how people in Greater Lincolnshire including Skegness, Boston, Lincoln, Grimsby, and Scunthorpe are struggling with high energy costs and the rising food bills.
More people than ever before are turning to food banks for support, many of those are unpaid carers in Lincolnshire. However, the situation has become so bad with the rising energy bills that one business leader has spoken out at how bad the situation has become.
This week, Iceland boss Richard Walker reportedly said that food banks are turning away potatoes and other goods that require heating because people can’t afford the energy to cook them, a scenario Goodwin said is not uncommon across IFAN food banks.
Although the Government knows how millions of people in Lincolnshire and around the UK are struggling, and the daily stress that unpaid carers are going through due to the hard decisions they have to make, nothing was done in the mini-budget to help.
A former Lincolnshire Taxi has shared his daily struggles and how he and his wife are having to rely on food banks to survive.
Gary Waterhouse from Bourne, quit his job as a taxi driver to look after his wife Natasha. She was diagnosed with a spinal tumour which has left her with limited mobility. Now, without the income of being a taxi driver and the rising cost of daily bills, they are struggling like millions of other unpaid carers to make ends meet as bills spiral.
Mr Waterhouse said: “We live hand to mouth. We have to go to food banks – there is a charity locally, the Butterfield Centre, where they give us this too-good-to-go food from supermarkets that donate it.
“You shouldn’t be ashamed, but when you have been working all your life it is very against the grain to ask for help to go and get these things.”
Carers UK has revealed that half of those who are looking after a loved one are worried about the rising bills and how it will affect their health.
A UK-wide survey of over 3,000 unpaid carers, revealed the impact of rising bills:
59% said they were worried higher energy bills will affect health
58% said they had to cut back on heating
32% said they may use food banks in future
Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said:” I think there is huge anxiety being brought on to carers on top of the last two years where they have taken on a huge amount without a break.
“So, we have got a situation here where unpaid carers are teetering over the brink and the additional pressure of energy bills going up next month is just too much for them.”
The rising cost of petrol prices in Lincolnshire has stopped thousands of carers from being able to take their loved ones out in the car as much as they use to. For many, being able to leave the home and travel in a car can have a positive impact on their health. However, with just 5 pence off per litre, the Government has done nothing to support those who rely on their cars for vital journeys.
Since the mini-budget was announced, we have been receiving emails daily from families and unpaid carers in Lincolnshire who have said they are worried for the future. Sadly, their worries are being ignored by Conservative MPs in the Greater Lincolnshire area and the Chancellor and Prime Minister.