The levels of financial inequality facing disabled people and their families have vastly increased since 2010 according to a new report released today by The Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
The report looks into the Westminster Government’s reforms and cuts to social security since 2010, and provides a clear insight into how disproportionality disabled people and their families have been hit. Worryingly, rather than improving, this financial gulf looks only set to widen.
It’s predicted that by 2020 families with a disabled member are set to be thousands of pounds worse off per year compared to families without a disabled member. Yet even these figures don’t take into account the additional cost of living with a disability; on average around £550 per month.
The more vulnerable a family, the bigger the financial impact, with some set to lose in excess of £5,500 a year. The report makes it clear that those disabled people with the most complex needs will be hit by the highest losses, pushing them further into poverty. This all flies in the face of the Government’s promise to protect the most vulnerable.
We know that there is a clear correlation between poverty and poorer health. In January The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health published a report that showed children and young people from deprived families had far worse health than those from more affluent backgrounds.
For the income of disabled families to continue to be slashed, despite this knowledge, is playing with the health and wellbeing of millions of people.
With an increasingly bleak financial future predicted for disabled people and their families, it has never been more vital for the Government to take action and start reversing the damaging effects reforms have had on the welfare of our country’s most vulnerable families.
During the upcoming budget, the Government must take steps to address this huge imbalance as a matter of urgency. Unless swift action is taken, disabled people and their families will only fall further into poverty, putting their health and wellbeing at risk.