Rishi Sunak releases new campaign highlighting cost of living crisis help
HM Treasury

A disabled man has spoken about having to sell his dead wife’s possessions in order to pay the bills during the rise in the cost of living over recent years.

Jason Alcock, who is autistic and has ADHD and bipolar disorder, spoke to the PA news agency about his experiences.

The 51-year-old said that he has been forced to sell his late wife’s Star Wars collection and electronic devices to keep his head above water.

Mr Alcock's wife Paola died in 2018 after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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Mr Alcock, whose disabilities mean he finds it difficult to leave the house and interact with others, spoke about the cost of living crisis and said that it has made his life more difficult.

The 51-year-old spoke about his experiencesJason Alcock

His income comes from Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and a severe disability premium – and he has said should qualify for the £800 worth of support Rishi Sunak announced in May, saying: “It’s a band-aid on a gaping chest wound, but it’s at least something that’s going to help this year.”

However, discussing the cost of living crisis he said: “It’s made my life harder. Being disabled and dealing with all of this… no disabled person ever gets a free ride.

“Disability is better than nothing. But we basically eke out a living just on or below poverty all the time. Disability was always meant to be something that allowed us not just to survive but live.

“For me to do anything, is more expensive. I can’t go to the local shop and pick up a loaf of bread. I can’t leave my house.

“If I want to order a loaf of bread, I’ve got to do a minimum £40 shop. So I’ve got to budget for that. So prices and everything really affect us. It’s made everything harder for us.”

Mr Alcock's wife Paola died in 2018Jason Alcock

Speaking about the sacrifices he’s had to make to pay bills, he added: “I worked out I’ve sold £8,000 worth of stuff in the last three years to survive.

“Paola had a Star Wars collection, she used to do a lot of crafts. All those kinds of things, her old phones and tablets and everything like that, that’s all been sold.”

He added: “A lot of the things I would have loved to have saved – they meant something to me – have all been sold. I’m at the point now that I’ve got nothing else to sell.”

Mr Alcock went on to say: “What we really need is a revamping of the disability system, to bring it in line with cost of living, because it’s not.

“Ever since (Paola died) there hasn’t been a month that’s gone by where I haven’t had to top my money up by selling something in the house. I shouldn’t be doing that.”

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