On the UN Day for Disabled People, Labour representatives across the country are calling for the Government to end the discrimination disabled people are currently facing in financial support through the pandemic.
The Government’s refusal to increase Employment and Support Allowance in-line with Universal Credit is set to cost disabled people more than £2.6m in Crawley alone.
The £20 uplift in Universal Credit was not applied to Employment and Support Allowance, with Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey stating in May it may take “several months” to do.
Since then, almost 2,522 ill and disabled people in Crawley have not received any additional support.
Disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Almost three in five people who have died from COVID-19 have either been disabled or with a long-term health condition, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission reported in October that disabled people have experienced difficulties in accessing care.
Cllr Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:
“At a time when everyone is struggling, it’s easy to forget that some people may be struggling more than others. For people with disabilities, being overlooked is all-too-often a part of their day-to-day life. The majority of those who have lost their lives due to the Government’s haphazard approach to COVID-19 have either had disabilities or a long-term health condition. Yet, while additional support has been put in place for almost every other part of society, people with disabilities have been forgotten again, despite the higher costs they face keeping safe through the pandemic.”