Disability: Cost of Living

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Scope report entitled Disability Price Tag 2019, what steps she is taking to reduce the extra costs faced by disabled people.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Department provides a range of benefits to reduce the financial pressure on disabled people and those with long term health conditions. Local Authorities and the National Health Service provide a wide range of additional services.

Since 2010, spending on extra-costs disability benefits has increased by £5billion in real terms. These benefits have been increased with inflation and were protected from the benefit freeze.

In addition, we are working closely with private industry to better recognise the needs of disabled people and ensure they are fully included in society. Initiatives led by the Department, such as Sector Champions, and those led by the private sector and supported by the Department, such as Purple Tuesday, aim to work with businesses to recognise the benefits of ensuring they are accessible and inclusive for disabled people.

As I have recently announced, we plan to commission independent research to better understand the needs of disabled people and how health and disability benefits can better support them.

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