Govt statistics missing 1 million disabled people

Mon,14 July 2014

Official statistics missing 1 million disabled people in poverty says new report

The authors of a new report for the research institute Joseph Rowntree Foundation are to present their findings on disabled people and routes out of poverty to parliament at the meeting of the All Party Disability Group from 5 pm to 7pm on Tuesday July 15th in committee room 4A of the House of Lords.

Tom MacInnes one of the report’s authors said, “The level of poverty among disabled people in Britain is not inevitable.  Even ignoring the fact that disability poverty is underestimated in the UK, international comparison shows that disability poverty in the UK is relatively high compared to other wealthy European countries. Moreover employment for disabled people in the UK is very low when compared with similar European countries.”

Anne McGuire MP and Chair of the Group said, “The JRF research on disability poverty is an important report highlighting the big policy questions which need to be faced if we are to make a real difference to the lives of disabled people in this country”

The authors went on to describe what is needed to lift disabled people out of poverty, “More disabled people could be in employment if we changed the benefits system to make moves into work more worthwhile and easier (rather than making the system less accessible, which does not improve employment), if we provided better specialist welfare-to-work programmes and early workplaces interventions, and if there were better incentives for employers. We could also reduce poverty among disabled people by reducing the extra costs they face in day-to-day life – by, for instance, making the markets for assistive devices more competitive.”

Philip Connolly of Disability Rights UK a national charity that contributed to the report said, “The launch of this report is very timely. The United Nations are assessing the UK Government’s record since the last Government ratified the convention on the rights of disabled people. We hope that national and international audiences will draw lessons that not only should more be done to ensure that disabled people have an adequate income but that this is attainable too."

Notes to editors

  1. Philip Connolly, Policy and Communications Manager for Disability Rights UK can be contacted on 0207 250 8192 or 07706 643667
  2. You can download the report at
  3. Tom MacInnes can be contacted on 07812 841456