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Costly Differences Hit Disabled People's Heating

Costly Differences Hit Disabled People's Heating

We’re raising awareness during Energy Saving Week of a new report by the Resolution Foundation Thinktank showing that disabled people are being disproportionately hit by the cost of living crisis – with two fifths of them unable to heat their homes this winter.

The report, entitled Costly Differences, shows that the underlying disposable income gap between the disabled (£19,319) and non-disabled population (£27,766) was 44 per cent in 2020-21: down from 54 per cent a decade ago, but still hugely significant.

Disabled people are far more likely to be poor than the rest of the population. One-in-three (33 per cent) adults in the lowest income households have a disability, compared to fewer than one-in-ten (9 per cent) of adults in the highest income households .

Even after accounting for employment status, over half of the original income gap remains – showing that in-work disabled people face an increased risk of being on lower incomes too.

Disabled people are almost three times as likely to live in material deprivation than the rest of the population (34 per cent vs 13 per cent).

They have also been stung by fast rising energy and food prices. Almost half (48 per cent) of disabled adults say they have had to cut back on energy use this winter, compared to almost one-third (32 per cent) of people without a disability.

Around two-fifths of people with a disability (41 per cent) said they couldn’t afford to keep their homes warm, compared to under one-fifth (23 per cent) of the non-disabled population. And almost one-in-three (31 per cent) people with a disability say they have had to reduce their expenditures on food, compared to 18 per cent of the non-disabled population.

Check out our Cost of Living Information Page if you are looking for support with energy bills and the Energy Saving Trust’s Warm Home Hacks.



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