Disability poverty rose sharply in fourth year of coalition
Summary: The proportion of disabled people living in poverty rose sharply in the fourth year of the coalition government, according to official figures.
Disabled campaigners say the rise was an inevitable consequence of a string of cuts to disabled people’s support under the coalition government.
It is one of the first pieces of evidence to suggest the overall impact of the government’s reforms and cuts to disability benefits and services.
The figures show that – after housing costs are taken into account – the percentage of people living in households where at least one member was disabled who were in “absolute poverty” rose from 27 per cent in 2012-13 to 30 per cent in 2013-14, an increase of about 10 per cent in just one year.
And they show that the number of people in “disabled households” who were living in absolute poverty rose by 300,000 in that one year.
Once income received through disability living allowance, attendance allowance and personal independence payment is excluded – as income from these benefits is supposed to meet some of the extra costs of disability – the number of disabled people living in poverty will have risen even further.
The figures – taken from the annual Family Resources Survey, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – show that absolute poverty among households that did not include any disabled people fell over the same period.
Absolute poverty describes income that is so low that someone cannot meet their basic needs, even before their disability-related costs are taken into account.
Just days after the figures were published, the BBC reported that the government was considering introducing measures that would see a fresh attack on disabled people’s income and standard of living.
The BBC said DWP had been looking at plans to scrap part of the main out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA), a step that would be certain to increase disability poverty.
The BBC says that a leaked DWP document describes ESA as a “passive” benefit which does not “incentivise” people to find a job, and suggests scrapping the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG).
This would mean that disabled ESA claimants expected to move eventually into work – but not yet “fit for work” – would see their weekly payments fall from £102.15 to £73.10, the same amount as those claiming jobseeker’s allowance.
The Family Resources survey results also show that the proportion of disabled people living in relative poverty – those who are poor in comparison with the general population – increased in 2013-14 by two percentage points (about 300,000 people), while relative poverty among non-disabled people stayed roughly at the same level.
Crucially, the percentage rises in relative and absolute poverty are both statistically significant, which means that the increases are highly unlikely to be purely due to chance, and suggest that the poverty gap between non-disabled and disabled people widened under the coalition during its fourth year.
The DWP press release on the poverty statistics fails to mention these post-housing costs increases in disability poverty.
The before-housing costs figures also show a slight increase in relative poverty among disabled people, with the proportion of those in absolute poverty staying roughly the same, at a time when both relative and absolute poverty among non-disabled people was falling, although none of these results were statistically significant.
It is the first time that it has been possible to calculate annual changes in disability poverty since 2013, because last year DWP changed the way the figures were drawn up.
Michelle Maher, from the WOWcampaign, said it was “no surprise” that the number of disabled people in poverty had risen so sharply, following policies such as cuts to ESA, rises in council tax, the introduction of the bedroom tax, cuts to disability living allowance (DLA), disabled people paying for their care from their DLA or personal independence payment, and the restrictions and freezing of the annual uprating of benefits.
She said: “The eighth of July [the budget]now hangs over our heads like the Sword of Damocles and the Tory party have no intention of doing a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) of all the cuts to disabled people.
“They have ignored a recent call from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the work and pensions select committee, who requested a CIA before more cuts are implemented, but sadly as we all know they wouldn’t want the figure in the public domain, as they chase their ideological-driven agenda.”
Maher said the fact that the media and government had ignored the rise in poverty among disabled people suggested that the cuts to come at this week’s budget would again hit disabled people.
She said: “The Tory party’s favourite new word is ‘scaremongering’ by disabled people, but the only ones who are doing the scaring are the Tory ministers who have refused for months to deny further cuts to carers and disabled people.”
DWP refused to comment on the increase in disability poverty.
Source Disability News Service
Other recent news items:
- Doctors’ union finally agrees to spread the word
- Disability Politics UK: call to prioritise step free access
- Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility
- Dementia care: how social enterprises are developing products and services
- Adass spring seminar: four things you need to know
- The Disability Audit: the eight coalition policies that have hit disabled people
- DWP told to publish ESA deaths report, after two-year delay
- The struggle to find work when you have Down's syndrome
- PIP Delay Crisis Over, Claims DWP
- Meet Justin Tomlinson MP- New Minister For Disabled People
- A quick guide to new care minister Alistair Burt
- How to use your disability as a strength when applying for jobs
- Devastating impact of cuts on disabled people
- NHS ‘has wasted more than a year’ on latest bid to improve wheelchair services
- Five Thousand Disabled Adults Sexually Abused In Last 2 Years Says NSPCC
- ESA Claimant Takes On Maximus And Wins
- One in five benefit-related deaths involved sanctions, admits DWP
- Manchester United tell family with disabled son to watch Stockport instead
- Joint mental health commissioning strategy
- New parliament sees number of disabled MPs plunge
- Motability under spotlight over cuts to grants… despite £190 million reserves
- Disabled people ‘should come together in new national body’
- 'It's a great honour': Selby appoints UK's first mayor with learning disabilities
- Voluntary Community Social Enterprise Review website
- Cameron downgrades minister for disabled people
- Poor UK cancer survival rates linked to lack of GP direct access to scans
- Charity highlights role of siblings in supporting adults with a disability
- Queen’s Speech fails to mention social care funding
- Queen’s speech ‘suggests the worst is yet to come'
- TV industry must improve representation of disabled people
- The bionic suit helping wheelchair users get back on their feet
- New project to tackle mental health issues
- Equality watchdog contradicts football’s Premier League over access
- Schools 'must improve support for diabetic children'
- National Theatre plans shows on issue of disability
- Rise in mental health bed occupancy
- Watchdog writes to Man Utd after stewards confiscate walking aids from fans
- Government cuts ‘could see disabled people slide back to the bad old days’
- Disabled payment delay unlawful, judge rules
- The 'dragons' who want to help disabled people start their own business
- Boy, 12, wins £120,000 in damages after swine-flu jab left him 'severely disabled' by narcolepsy
- DWP ignores watchdog’s deadline over benefit-related deaths
- Man who cannot walk or talk called for jobcentre 'back to work' interview
- UK woman can ride bike for first time with 'world's most lifelike bionic hand'
- GPs to refer more patients with low-risk cancer symptoms under new NICE guidance
- Disability campaigners clash with police inside parliament over benefit cuts
- Indefinite Award DLA Transfer To PIP Will Start From July In Certain Postcodes
- Disabled children less happy with hospital care than peers
- ILF closure: Process has caused ‘fear, stress and anxiety’, say researchers
- Disability poverty rose sharply in fourth year of coalition
- UK services failing patients with dementia
- Shadow disability minister admits backing assisted suicide bill
- Disabled people's rights threatened by government cuts, campaigners warn
- BBC Three’s ‘Defying The Label’ Season
- From 'bloodied knees' to the House of Commons as a disabled MP
- Mental health patients sent hundreds of miles for beds as out of area placements rise 23 per cent
- Systematic over-medication blights learning disability care
- The Superhumans return to Channel 4
- Accessible Information Standard Approved
- Doctors demand return of lung cancer awareness campaign
- David O’Mar, 58, Found Fit For Work Two Weeks Before His Death
- World First Bionic Eye Gives Hope To Millions
- Seven-day NHS to include child mental health services, minister confirms
- Court hears appeal on ‘unfair’ PIP 20 metre rule consultation
- New report by Business Disability Forum cites lack of skills in line managers as major barrier to retention of disabled employees
- Tanni says 10,000 signatures could finally transform wheelchair services
- BBC3 presenter and journalist crowdfunding to transform the lives of people with disabilities in Ghana
- Disabled voters take pioneering legal action over election access
- Has disability sport lost its London 2012 Paralympics momentum?
- NHS Announce New Care Guidelines For Learning Disabilities
- Fresh evidence that ‘benefit scrounger rhetoric’ is causing hate crime
- Sanctioned Jobseekers With Mental Health Problems Are Not ‘Vulnerable’ Says DWP
- Clubs “Neglecting Responsibility” To Disabled Fans
- Latest Figures Show Massive Rise In ESA Sanctions
- ‘Bizarre’ figures raise fears over ministers’ plans for ESA
- School nurses ‘need better mental health training’
- Number of people developing dementia 'stabilising'
- Boy, nine, fitted with first prosthetic hand that can change grip with gestures
- Iain Duncan Smith criticises employers over disability employment gap
- Disability benefit sanctions soar by 30% in a year
- Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP figures show
- Goths at risk of depression or self-harming, research says
- Elderly 'ripped off' in mobility scooter market
- GPs are missing cancer in children - because they 'don't have enough training'
- IDS announces 'fitness for work' U-turn that was five years in the making
- People with autism and learning disabilities excel in creative thinking, study shows
- Starbucks apologises for telling woman she was not 'disabled enough' to use the toilet
- DLA Lifetime Award PIP Transition Started from 1 September in 29 New Areas
- Successful 'Fit for Work' Appeals at Highest Ever Level, Show DWP Stats
- Why is our justice system failing vulnerable people?
- UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
- Coroners 'ground breaking' verdict: Suicide was 'triggered' by 'fit for work' test
- Schoolboy calls for more disabled characters in children's books
- The quadruple amputee who needs the correct prosthetic
- Welfare to work programme failing disabled and ill jobseekers, say charities
- Disabled fans 'delighted' as Premier League finally acts on access
- Two-thirds of adult social care requests rejected by local councils
- Independent Living Fund: Government silence 'suggests something to hide'
- UK employers report rise in mental health problems: CIPD study
- UN inquiry considers alleged UK disability rights violations
- Parliament's own disability group picks first non-disabled chair in nearly 50 years
- Dementia drug 'keeps patients out of nursing homes'
- Disability benefit cuts will actually make it harder for disabled people to find work,coalition of 60 charities warns
- Problems with the care and treatment provided by the NHS and/or difficulties in accessing health services?
- Consultation on the proposed new adult social care strategy
- The Leicestershire Advice Service for Social Care is here to guide you
- Minister: MPs must help 'open doors' for disabled jobseekers
- 'Homes not hospitals': learning disability care to move to community
- Equality Act 'simply isn't strong enough' for BSL-users, peers are told
- Disability Hate Crimes Rise 41% In A Year
- Companies fear employing people with learning disabilities, survey reveals
- DWP cuts specialist disability employment advisors in jobcentres by over 60 per cent
- Watchdog 'must do more to support disabled people to fight discrimination'
- ‘We must keep banging the drum,’ says bus campaigner after five-year fight for justice
- 2,000 disabled people wrongly declared ‘fit to work’ by DWP in just three months
- Local authorities 'spend close to nothing on mental health'
- Rock band with learning disabilities release first single
- NICE seeks to improve diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy
- Premier League clubs face legal threat unless disabled access is improved
- UK’s progress on disability rights ‘patchy and tortuous’, UN told
- Peer pressure sees minister finally announce date for taxi access laws
- Stop the NHS slashing vulnerable people’s care packages in and around Leicestershire
- Minister tells industries to increase representation of disabled people
- Disabled children in England 'finding it increasingly hard to access council care'
- Wheelchair Rugby Loses Funding Appeal
- Plans that could force people into institutions could be ‘front line’ of national problem
- Young people 'fear stigma' if they ask for mental-health help
- Disability benefits process is 'inherently flawed', MPs told
- Businesses woefully ill-equipped to deal with Britain's rapidly growing mental health crisis
- Cash boost for pupils with special needs and disability
- PIP investigation: ‘Horrific’ suicide question sparks fresh assessment inquiry calls
- Disability report: Being disabled in Britain
- Stop PIP reassessments for patients with progressive diseases, campaigners say
- Patients with learning disabilities missing out on health checks
- Thousands have disability vehicles taken away
- Aspire announces GLL and LCiL as first partners to lead InstructAbility
- Easy read guide to voting by post
- Online campaign ‘could enable disabled people to affect election outcome’
- Health Committee inquiry and report: Brexit and Health and Social Care – People and Process
- Women’s Resource Centre report: the Impact of Austerity Measures on Women’s Voluntary and Community Organisations