Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Calls for further measures to support learning disabled people with cost of living

DISABLED people, including those with a learning disability, will be forced to cut back on heating and eating this winter as the income gap between the disabled and non-disabled population rises to 44%. This is according to new research published today by the Resolution Foundation.

Responding to the findings, Kirsty Matthews, CEO of learning disability charity Hft, said:

“The new Resolution Foundation report, Costly differences, reveals the ‘massive income and material deprivation gaps’ between disabled people and the rest of the population and highlights the very real, but distressing impact this has.

“While the Government took action to mitigate this with a cost of living package worth £15bn last year, we emphasised that the one-off payments would not provide sufficient financial support to cover the cost of living and the ‘disability price tag’ – the additional costs faced by disabled people for essential things like heating to manage their conditions and travelling in accessible taxis.

“Findings from the Resolution Foundation illustrate the true impact on disabled people – ‘disabled people are hugely exposed to the rising costs of essentials, with two in five unable to heat their homes this winter, and almost a third needing to cut back on food expenditure’.

“Indeed, as not all people with a learning disability are eligible for the £650 cost of living payment given to those on income-related benefits, some have been paid just £150 to offset price increases despite the huge income gap they face.

“The report notes that this income gap can in part be explained by the low employment rate for disabled people and it is vital to emphasise that the current employment rate for adults with a learning disability sits at just 5%. We are working with employment initiatives like Project Search to support both adults with learning disabilities and employers in overcoming barriers to employment.

“It is vital the Government acts urgently to implement further financial support for disabled people – including those with a learning disability – to ensure they can weather the cost of living storm this winter, and into the future.”

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