Just over a year ago, Destination Unknown explored how cuts to welfare and public spending would affect disabled people in Britain. It calculated how the welfare reforms and cuts to benefits – announced in the Emergency Budget and in the run up to the Spending Review – would affect five typical disabled families. Our research showed that, far from being protected from the worst of the cuts, disabled families across the country faced dramatic reductions in their household incomes, totalling £9 billion.
However, this initial research only told half of the picture – it was only possible to model the impact of welfare cuts on disabled people and not the implications of cuts to public services and local authority budgets. To understand more fully the effects of these changes, we began the Disability in Austerity Study, following five typical disabled families through the course of this Parliament and tracking the impact of fiscal tightening on their lives.
This pamphlet is the second report in the ongoing longitudinal study and is the first since new local authority budgets and a range of welfare reforms took effect. It provides detail on the real consequences the cuts have for the everyday lives of disabled people, revealing the first-hand experiences of disabled families living on the edge of uncertainty, financial stress and disability poverty.