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Poverty: Disability

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 82111, tabled on 25 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of disabled people living in poverty in the UK.

Answered on

3 December 2021

Spending on benefits for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions is currently the highest it has ever been. In 2021/22 we are forecast to spend £59 billion. Latest statistics (2019/20) show that rates of absolute poverty, both before and after housing costs for individuals living in disabled families are down since 2009/10.

We are working to make sure that money spent on supporting disabled people and people with health conditions has a positive impact on their lives and we want to go further to support and empower disabled people and people with health conditions. Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper, published earlier this year, is one key way we are seeking to do this. The Green Paper seeks to ensure the welfare system is an enabler to work through improving our strong and effective package of employment support. Alongside the Green Paper, the National Disability Strategy and the Health Is Everyone’s Business consultation response form part of a holistic approach to enable disabled people and people with health conditions to live independent lives.

Whilst the consultation period for this publication has now closed, we are working through over 4,500 responses from individuals, charities, and organisations to analyse responses and improve health and disability policies. We continue to engage with stakeholders, particularly on the broader aspects of the paper that focus on future reform and remain committed to responding to this Green Paper consultation with a White Paper in mid-2022.