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Official data flags impact of inflation on Disabled people

03 November 2022

More than half of Disabled adults (55 per cent) are struggling to pay their energy bills and around a third (36 per cent) are having problems paying their rent or mortgage, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) research.

This contrasts with 40% of non-disabled people struggling with energy bills and 27%with their rent or mortgages.

The ONS surveyed people between June and September so it is likely the figures are now even higher as winter approaches.

The data reveals that people were already slipping into arrears for both energy bills and their rent and mortgages – with 7 per cent of Disabled people behind on their energy bills and 4 per cent on their rent or mortgage payments. That compares to 4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively for non-disabled people.

DR UK's Head of Policy, Fazilet Hadi, said: The ONS findings add to the mounting evidence that Disabled people are being disproportionately negatively impacted by the cost of living crisis. Government doesn't need any more evidence of the problem, it now needs to act to support Disabled people through the crisis, with additional income to meet the extra costs of disability."

Some 72 per cent of people with prepayment meters, which are typically used by people on low incomes, reported difficulty in paying for their energy – compared to 42 per cent of those paying by direct debit or through one-off payments.

The Disability Poverty Campaign Group have written to the Prime Minister, calling for urgent action on the cost of living crisis.