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Groundswell of support for increasing benefit payments made to Disabled people: Fabian Society report

27 May 2021

Following the pandemic, a study of public attitudes to social security shows a groundswell of support for increasing benefit payments, including those made to Disabled people.

The new Fabian Society research survey involving a major citizens’ jury and national poll demonstrated strong public support for increasing benefits for Disabled people, carers of disabled people, young people aged 18 to 24, and lone parents who are in work or looking after young children.

It also found that 67% of respondents wanted to keep the £20 per week temporary uplift to Universal Credit.

More than half who expressed a view wanted to increase payments for the following:

  • A severely Disabled adult who may not work again (77%)
  • An adult who is caring full time for a Disabled relative (76%)
  • A Disabled adult who is only able to work part-time (71%)
  • An Disabled adult who may be able to work in one or two years’ time (56%).

The report makes the point that social security currently fails Disabled people:

“Although on average disabled people receive more in social security than people without disabilities, the extra they receive is insufficient to cover the extra costs they face or to reflect their reduced capacity to earn.

There is no perfect measure of poverty for disabled people, because people with health needs and disabilities face essential costs which vary case by case. The Social Metrics Commission measure is the best available at presenIn 2018/19 it showed that 38% of Disabled people aged 18 to 65 were recorded to be living in poverty, compared to 18% of those without a disability. This suggests that at least half of disabled working-age adults are likely to lack an income sufficient to meet their reasonable minimum needs.”

The Fabian Society concludes that drawing on its citizens’ jury, nationwide survey and expert consultation it concludes there is scope for consensus on:

  • Retaining the £20 per week uplift introduced in 2020.
  • Increasing payments for young adults, Disabled people, carers and working families
  • Introducing a new payment for the carers of babies and toddlers.
  • Reforming childcare payments to ensure that work always pays.
  • Ending the two-child limit for working families.

The new report Going With The Grain: How to increase social security with public support is available from fabians.org.uk.

See also our related news story High Court challenge to exclusion of nearly two million Disabled people from £20 week benefit uplift.