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Life costs more if you're disabled - and it's unfair; WITH TOM DOWLING I Can Do That! FOR PEOPLE WHO WON'T LET DISABILITY GET IN THE WAY.


DISABLED people pay more on everyday living costs - on average PS570 per month, with one in five paying over PS1,000 extra per month.

National charity Scope say these extra costs mean that disabled people are left with less money in their pocket than non-disabled people.

The charity's analysis found that, for every PS100 a disabled person earns, their spending power is just PS67.

This is even accounting for the impact of Personal Independence Payment, the benefit designed to counteract these extra costs.

After housing costs, disabled people spend, on average, half of their remaining income (49%) on disability-related costs.

According to Scope, disabled people have to pay extra in three ways: | Having to spend more on everyday things like heating or taxis; | Paying for specialist items such as a wheelchair or a hoist or other equipment; | Paying over the odds for everyday products and services.

Examples of higher daily living costs include: | A reclining chair that costs PS1,200; | PS600 for a spare battery for an electric wheelchair; | Hand grips for wheelchairs and walkers that cost five times (PS25) a grip for a bike (PS5).

Chief executive at disability charity Scope, Mark Atkinson, said: "Life costs more if you are disabled. Disabled people often have to buy equipment that other people don't.

"Sometimes, their condition means disabled people have no choice but to use more of something, like heating. In other cases, they are charged extortionate rates for things like insurance.

"Scope research shows that, on average, all these costs add up to a 'disability price tag' of an extra PS570 per month.

"We need a complete rethink on how we tackle this issue and how Government, businesses, markets and the public work and interact with disabled people."

To combat extra costs, Scope is calling for: | Government to reform the assessment for Personal Independence Payment so that disabled people get the right level of support to help with extra costs; | Regulators like Ofgem and the FCA to improve how markets function for disabled people, to help tackle extra costs; | Businesses to develop goods and services targeted at disabled people that help to reduce extra costs.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2018
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