I was taken with Save the Children’s excellent report on UK poverty rip-off. In their continually good work on the poverty premium, Save the Children has shown that the typical low income family paid an extra £1,280 in 2010 than wealthier families.
In particular, low income families pay:
- £598 a year for car insurance, compared to £310 average for wealthier families
- £99 for home insurance, compared to £67
- £1,134 for gas and electricity, compared to £881
- £670 for a basic household cooker, compared to £239.
These differences arise mainly because lower income families do not have access to the best deals, or information about them.
There are significant echoes here with Contact A Family’s survey last year on the costs families with disabled children face. As I blogged here, they found that:
- 23% of families had to turn off their heating to save money
- 14% go without food
- 73% said they had to forego leisure activities and days out
- 68% are not taking any holidays
It is a well-established fact that families with disabled people disproportionately live in poverty. For example, 29% of families live in poverty when at least one family member is disabled, compared with 20% of families with no disabled people. Furthermore, disabled people are more likely to live in persistent poverty compared to non-disabled people (11% compared to 5%).
Behind these numbers are stories of the significant hardship that a considerable number of disabled people, be they adults or young people, and their families encounter.
We are about to live in “austere” times. These figures for me are a reminder that, for some, times already are – and have been for as long as they can remember – “austere”, and will only get worse over the next few years.