Thursday, February 06, 2020

Hurting the Vulnerable

Nearly half the 14 million people living in poverty in the UK are disabled or live with someone who is, research for a charity suggests.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation blames the high cost of coping with disability and the struggles disabled people face in finding jobs that pay enough.
Executive director Claire Ainsley said their plight was "fundamentally wrong.
The charity says "shamefully high numbers" of disabled people are being pulled into poverty and the social security system is failing to protect them.
"The fact that disability continues to be an indicator of poverty shows the economy is not working for everyone," Ms Ainsley said.
The researchers found that, compared with the rest of the population, people with disabilities:
  • were less likely to be working
  • worked an average 13 fewer hours a week
  • lived in households that were worse off by £200 a week
And of almost 4.5 million informal adult carers in the UK, almost a quarter were living in poverty, with working-age female carers particularly at risk.
Disability benefits are supposed to help people cope with the extra costs related to their conditions but research by disability equality charity Scope has shown they fall short.
Households with disabled members are also much more likely to claim other income-related benefits, which have been frozen for the past four years while prices have risen, says Scope.
James Taylor, its head of policy and campaigns, said the findings were shocking, but not surprising.
"Life costs much more for disabled people - on average £583 a month.
"At the same time, huge numbers of disabled people are denied the opportunity to get into and stay in work."

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