Disabled Vine caller emotional over inability to work to pay bills ‘It’s frustrating’

Jeremy Vine: Disabled caller emotional at energy price hike

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One of the phone-in segments during Friday’s Jeremy Vine was about the energy crisis and how the government can help people struggling to pay their bills. One viewer called Betty from Morayshire, spoke with Channel 5 host Storm Huntley as she discussed how the rise in gas and electric prices is affecting her.

The viewer seemed to get emotional as she told Storm: “I need heat in my house, I am on a fixed benefit.”

Betty went on to explain she is classed as disabled because of a neurological condition and is unable to work.

“The fact he [Boris Johnson] has not done anything for people that are disabled and are not able to work,” Betty began.

“I really want to stress now… sorry I am getting a bit emotional. I have worked and he has no idea how frustrating and depressing it is not being able to work anymore.”

She continued: “I think that he needs to understand what he’s done or rather what he hasn’t done is going to have an enormous effect on people’s mental health.

“Every year, we lose thousands of people in the winter through lack of poverty and [being] cold.

“They’re too afraid to put the heating on and this is just…he may well be responsible with people not being able to afford to eat or heat their homes or people’s mental health getting to a crisis point.”

Storm chipped: “We are already hearing, Betty from the calls we are getting in today that it is affecting people’s mental health.”

“People are seriously worried,” the host added. “I am just wondering, you have the warm homes discount is that part of the benefits you receive?”

Betty replied: “I do, but I think I get like £140 or something like that but I want to say in the last three months, my gas bill has nearly doubled and this is just in the last three months.

“This was before this new thing today and also I want to say, I actually phoned my local council for the local support fund.

“I phoned them and they offered me £100 and that is a one-off payment for the year.”

Viewers flocked to Twitter following the phone-in segment with many agreeing and sharing their sympathies with Betty.

User @JeanieThePixie penned: “I hope Louise is listening to Betty from Morayshire. Poor lady clearly needs some help. It’s not right that people are expected to live in cold homes.”

Sammy Sam wrote: “There is no easy solution for people like Betty. The bank of government can only control our finance so much. We all are going to have to cut our cloth accordingly.”

While user @attbury1888 simply tweeted: “Shame on you @RishiSunak @BorisJOhnson.” (sic)

As of today, April 1, Ofgem’s energy price cap will see a typical household’s bills rise to £1,971.

Last week, Chancellor Rishi addressed the cost of living crisis in the Spring Statement.

Under the new plans, households will receive a £200 reduction in their bills in October which will then be repaid in the following years.

Although, it is unclear how the scheme will actually work.

Jeremy Vine airs weekdays at 9.15am on Channel 5.

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