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DR UK reaction to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

17 November 2022

The Government has announced in the Autumn Statement that it will increase benefits in line with September’s inflation from April.

Disability Rights UK, as part of the DPO Forum England, has said that further austerity will disproportionately affect Disabled people, millions of whom are already living in poverty in the UK as there is “nothing left to cut.”

Austerity is already responsible for tens of thousands of excess deaths in the UK. The UN Committee on the rights of Persons with Disabilities found austerity measures to cause gross and systemic violations of Disabled people’s human rights.

Before the cost of living crisis, four million disabled people already lived in poverty.

The Statement also said that there will be meagre help with energy for people on disability benefits – UC claimants will receive £900 in help, but people on disability benefits will only receive £150.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “The Government is committing to investment in public services and to increase social care and education funding. But it’s not clear that those increases will do anything other than leaving us running to stand still. We do not think they will be anywhere near enough to benefit the huge numbers of Disabled children and adults currently being denied services.

 “Before the cost of living crisis, the disability living gap meant that Disabled people were paying on average £583 per month more on living expenses. That figure has now shot through the roof, but Disabled people are still only being thrown peanuts.

“PIP and disability legacy benefits have not met the gap for years due to a lack of meaningful increases. £150 doesn’t touch the sides. Fuel costs are set to continue to sky rocket, essential education and care services for Disabled children and adults have already been cut to the bone pushing Local Authorities to the brink of bankruptcy.

“While the Government hasn’t completely put the knife into Disabled people, it is still twirling it between its fingers.

"We demand to be seen. We demand that the Government stops ignoring the needs of Disabled people. The Prime Minister has said he will “protect the most vulnerable”. Today, he has shown that he is not willing to go far enough to make good on his word.”