Sunday 23 January 2022 / 10:30 PM Anneliese Dodds / Disabilities / Women and Equalities / Work and Pensions

A million more disabled people trapped in poverty under the Conservatives as cost of living crisis bites

The number of disabled people living in poverty has risen by over a million since the Conservatives took power in 2010, new analysis by Labour can reveal.

Analysis of Department for Work and Pensions figures shows that since the Conservatives entered Government, the number of disabled people living in poverty has rocketed to 3.8 million – a 44% increase since 2010.

The overall rate of disability poverty now stands at 27%, having grown by nearly a fifth since the Tories took office. It means millions of disabled people are now being disproportionately affected by the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis.

It comes after the Conservatives voted against Labour’s binding vote to cut VAT on home energy bills to reduce expected price rises in April this month. Labour’s policy would help many of the disabled people struggling under the Conservatives with targeted support of up to £600 off their bills, as part of a fully-funded package that would see most households in the country save £200 or more.

Disabled people have already been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 82% of those on Universal Credit and legacy benefits reporting having to spend more money than usual on greater food shopping and utility bills.

Despite this the Government buried a £70 million stealth cut to disability benefits in the Autumn Budget, just two weeks after a consultation on reform proposals closed.

Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, said:

“The Conservatives’ cost of living crisis has seen poverty explode, with a million more disabled people now trapped in hardship since they took office.

“Instead of taking action to help them, the Tories slashed Universal Credit, cut £70m in disability benefits, and voted against Labour’s measure to reduce energy bills.

“Labour’s contract with the British people will ensure disabled people are treated with respect, and our fully-costed energy plan would see those most in need getting up to £600 off their energy bills.”