As we will all be acutely aware, prices are rising and the cost of living has the biggest rise in a generation. As a result, living standards for many will decrease more than any other time in living memory. 

As a general picture, this is bleak but for those with disabilities, the picture is even worse. Often based more within the home, and therefore having a greater reliance on heating and lighting, bills are already often higher than for many. Add in essential equipment such as respirators, electric wheelchairs needing to be charged and a whole host of other such medical and life-sustaining and improving equipment, the call on electricity - under particular price pressure at the moment - is an even bigger call for concern.

Benefits increases are made annually in April and will not accommodate anything close to the rate of inflation and increased costs. Whilst for us all, the squeeze on living standards and costs will be painful, it is not an exaggeration to say that for some it really could be life and death.

I was therefore disappointed that today's spring statement didn't do more to try to assist. Whilst recognising that the chancellor has a difficult job in balancing the books - especially post-pandemic - more could have been done to tax energy companies, to recognise the particularly vulnerable through targeted schemes for running costs of essential equipment.

In short, our most vulnerable members of society, already under significant strain and having borne increased stresses during the pandemic are facing yet another challenge - one they could ill afford in any event and one made all the more challenging in the absence of any real answers in the budget.