Disability and the downturn

4 January 2010

In January 2009, the UK officially entered into recession. Disabled people are twice as likely to live in relative poverty as non-disabled people and when the additional costs disabled people face as a result of their impairment are factored in, figures suggest that well over half of disabled people in the UK could be living in poverty.

With disabled people entering the recession on a profoundly unequal footing to non-disabled people, in areas such as employment, finance and income and quality of life, the case for monitoring their experiences during the downturn is compelling. There is increasing recognition amongst policy-makers that tackling the recession and tackling deep-rooted social exclusion are interlinked objectives. Yet the interests of disabled people have been largely absent from national debate arising from the downturn.

This report aims to rectify this, clearly articulating the different ways in which the recession is impacting on disabled people and setting out key priorities for policy-makers.