Many disabled people’s lives are scarred by poverty. The evidence suggests that due to austerity cuts and welfare “reforms” more disabled people are experiencing poverty. But what is the true scale of the problem? According to Scottish Government after housing costs are taken into account –
- 23% of people in households containing a disabled adult were living in poverty (2015/16).
- This compared to 18% of people living in poverty in households where there was no disabled adult.
The Scottish Government’s main means of measuring poverty is based on average household income and does not take into account the extra costs associated with disability. Thus the 23% figure is likely to be an under-estimate. In 2015 Scope found that disabled people spent an average £550 a month on disability related expenses (e.g. taxis, increased use of heating, special equipment, care costs, etc. Counting the Cost, Scope, 2015). Disabled people had, on average, £108,000 fewer savings than non-disabled people.
The policy panel on Poverty and Social Security will discuss the issues facing disabled people with the impacts of welfare reforms and poverty. If you would like to contribute to this policy panel please click here to register your interest.