By John Pring in Disability News Service.
Charging disabled people for their care and support is driving many of them into debt and forcing them to cut their spending on food or heating, according to new research by a network of disabled people’s organisations and their allies.
The study by the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) found that four in 10 (41 per cent) of those responding to a survey had experienced a substantial increase in charges over the last couple of years.
Nearly half (43 per cent) had had to cut back on their spending on food to pay for care.
And two-fifths of respondents (40 per cent) said they had had to cut back on heating costs to pay for care and support.
The study concludes that charging for the support disabled people need to go about their daily lives is “unfair, counterproductive and undermines the primary purpose of the care and support system”.
The effect of charging, it says, is often to “drive disabled people into care poverty, and to create confusion, stress and complexity in an already overly burdened bureaucratic system” through what is effectively “an unhelpful and unnecessary tax on disability and old age”.
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