North East Fife Liberal Democrat MP Menzies Campbell is backing a new campaign to make tackling disability poverty a top government priority.

Menzies Campbell has backed a Parliamentary motion supporting a new report from Leonard Cheshire Disability which found that disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people. The report, ‘Disability poverty in the UK’, also found that on average disabled people’s basic day-to-day living costs are a quarter (25%) higher than those of non-disabled people, because of extra expense on essentials such as mobility aids, care and transport.

Commenting Menzies Campbell said “Leonard Cheshire Disability’s report highlights the extent of the links between disability and poverty – I believe that more must be done to break those links. Many disabled people can face additional costs, which can leave those on low incomes having to take impossible decisions about whether they pay utility bills or pay for their care, or pay for food or essential mobility equipment.

“I know from speaking to disabled people and their families in North East Fife that this is an important issue. It simply can’t be right that disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people, which is why I’m backing this campaign.”


Notes to editors:

1. Leonard Cheshire Disability’s report, Disability Poverty in the UK, can be found here

2. The report looks into many different issues such as the quality of housing, the accessibility of shops, education, employment and income levels in order to assess the extent of disability poverty in the UK.

3. The House of Commons Early Day Motion (EDM 637) supported by [NAME] MP reads as follows:

“That this House notes that the Leonard Cheshire Disability report `Disability Poverty in the UK’ finds that disabled people are twice as likely as non-disabled people to live in poverty; further notes that disabled people can experience poverty in a number of ways including financial poverty, poverty of aspiration and poverty of opportunity; further notes that average basic living costs are much higher for disabled people; further notes that disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed and seeking work than non-disabled people and that disabled people who are not expected to work are often trapped in inescapable poverty; believes that the extent of disability poverty in the UK today is unacceptable; and calls on the Government to make tackling disability poverty a priority.”

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  1. Katie Spencer-Nairn says:

    As a disabled person from North East Fife I thank Sir Menzies for signing the motion to end poverty among disabled people.
    But as a disabled person in Fife who is currently looking at a 4,700% rise in my care from £4 per WEEK TO £11 per HOUR, and £192 per week due to the Revised Charging Policy introduced in October 2007 by the Liberal Democrat/SNP Administration in Fife Council, I urge the Liberal Democrat Councillors of Fife to look at consequences of this policy in the light of the Leonard Cheshire Report.
    By depleting disabled people of any savings we have, you are taking away our ability to buy the things necessary to make our lives easier and worth while. Once savings are gone, for a disabled person, it is not just a question of building your savings up, as many of us are unable to work. The savings we have are one of the few things that give us some independence and choice.
    Please take the time to read the Leonard Cheshire Report, and help to ensure that disabled people in Fife can keep living their lives with dignity and a quality that make them worth while.
    Thank you

  2. Andrew Haynes says:

    I fully concur with the points raised by Katie.

    As a disabled person who currently does not require home care, I am astonished to read the plights of those who do and live in dread of the time when I too will require some form of assistance; not only for the personal loss of dignity, but also the financial burden that will now accrue if this policy is no reversed.

    The only thing I can add is that I feel ashamed to live in a country of such wealth that treats its most vulnerable people in this manor. Where has our social conscience gone?

  3. simone meiszner says:

    As a mother and carer of a daughter who is now 21 and has little qualifications. I am grateful that you have signed this Bill even though I am from Kent. It is only now faced with looking for work my daughter is so upset for her future life. The courses out there out sometimes too hard for some adults with a disability and the help not sufficent. They go on from one course to the next but never qualify. The goverment thinks they are giving them a lot of help but they don’t know the reality.
    I believe in Education and I don’t feel that it is my daughter’s mind but the way she was taught. I am frightened for her future and how she will manage on low wages without her parents to help. Others are in worse position then my daugher but it is wrong for any person with a disability to live as they do. I urge the government to help the children and adults wih a disability of UK.

  4. In knowing a few friends of varying disability from fully handicapped to a spinal injury, im sure my fully handicapped friend, would have it very hard if it wasnt the fact he was from a wealthy family giving him the opportunies and care he currently gets. As for my friend with a spinal injury he is able to work, but he definately has to spend more money on his mobility aids and transport out of his wages.

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