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Poverty: Disabled

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans his Department has to tackle disability poverty. (196700)

The Government are committed to tackling all aspects of disability poverty and has made considerable progress. In terms of financial poverty the number of disabled individuals in households with an income below 60 per cent. of median on an after housing cost basis fell by 500,000 in Great Britain between 1998-99 and 2005-06.

The 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review announced measures that would support the alleviation of disability poverty, including commitments to tackle the issues of aspirational poverty and poverty of opportunities. These include measures to narrow gaps in educational achievement, employment outcomes and to promote equality.

The Office for Disability Issues’ annual report, in December 2007, published a set of measures of income poverty and material deprivation which will be used to track Government progress towards equality. These measures are based on consultation with disabled people.

Notes:

1. Data are taken from the households below average income series 2005-06.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000.

3. The definition of disability used by HBAI changed in 2002-03. It is not possible to separate out definitional and real effects. For 1998-99, available data exclude Northern Ireland, therefore changes across Great Britain between 1998-99 and 2005-06 have been presented.