New report finds that nearly half of disabled benefits claimants are in poverty
Decades of reforms and political promises have failed to help disabled people, with 42 per cent of all people in homes relying on disability benefits now in poverty, according to new analysis published by the Social Market Foundation and Scope.
Using data provided by the Social Metrics Commission, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) report revealed that almost half of all people in poverty are either disabled or live with someone who is disabled.
It also found that there are now 1.8 million more people in poverty living in a family that includes a disabled person compared with 15 years ago.
The report has sparked calls for urgent action over the immediate impact of the pandemic, with recent Scope research showing more than a quarter of disabled people said their finances have worsened during the pandemic.
The thinktank said the findings showed that repeated changes in disability policy have failed to provide either sufficient financial security for disabled people or help for those that can and want to work. It concluded that the current system of support for disabled people is “broken”.
The SMF report comes as ministers prepare a Disability and Health Green Paper and a wider cross-departmental national disability strategy.
These initiatives provide the UK Government with an opportunity to take immediate action to support disabled people but should also commit to a wide-ranging rethink on disability support, the SMF said.
The SMF worked with the disability equality charity Scope on the report, which finds that increasingly costly government support has failed to prevent disabled people and their families from falling into poverty.
A framework for reform has been set out in the report, which would better support disabled people into employment and ensure those that do need to rely on benefits can do so in a way which “delivers dignity, fairness and respect”.
Matthew Oakley, Senior Researcher at the Social Market Foundation, said that the current benefits system for disabled people is broken.
“Not only is failing policy damaging the lives of disabled people – it also means that the UK is missing out on everything that disabled people can bring to the economy and society.
“Reforms have wasted billions of pounds of taxpayer money and failure to support more disabled people to fulfil their working ambitions has deprived the economy of as much as £50 billion of output every year.
“The Government needs to use its long-awaited Green Paper and cross-departmental disability strategy to commit to change. What we need is a benefits system that ensures disabled people are lifted out of poverty and delivers support in a dignified, fair and respectful manner.
“Delivering this will require significant changes; but our work shows that the foundations of a new system of support for disabled people can and must be delivered within this Parliament.”https://thiis.co.uk/new-report-finds-that-nearly-half-of-disabled-benefits-claimants-are-in-poverty/https://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Motion-Composites-wheelchair-user.jpghttps://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Motion-Composites-wheelchair-user-150x150.jpgNewsroomReports & ResearchSector NewsThird Sectordisability charity,framework,Government,report,Social Market FoundationDecades of reforms and political promises have failed to help disabled people, with 42 per cent of all people in homes relying on disability benefits now in poverty, according to new analysis published by the Social Market Foundation and Scope. Using data provided by the Social Metrics Commission, the Social...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine