7 May 2024
Scope: An Equal Future

I note the concerns raised in the manifesto “An Equal Future”, and would like to assure you that the Government is committed to ensuring that disability is not an obstacle to living a full, independent life where people can reach their full potential.

In recognition of the exceptional circumstances of the last two years, the Government has taken decisive action to provide timely relief to those with disabilities and health conditions. On 6 April 2024, disability benefits - including Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, and Employment and Support Allowance - were increased by 6.7 per cent.

Additionally, last year, more than 6.4 million individuals received a £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment. This was in addition to three payments totalling £900 for those on means-tested benefits, and the extension of the Household Support Fund, which has provided 26 million awards for vulnerable families.

Regarding employment, between Q1 2017 and Q1 2022, the number of disabled people in the UK in employment increased by 1.3 million. This means that the goal to see a million more disabled people in employment between 2017 and 2027 has been met and exceeded five years ahead of schedule.

Clearly, however, there is much more to do, and the Government is taking action to reduce the disability employment gap even further. For example, the ambitious Back to Work Plan sets out steps that will support those with disabilities and long-term health conditions to enter into employment.

Moreover, to improve the experiences of disabled people in daily life, the National Disability Strategy and Disability Action Plan will ensure that this country is the most accessible and, importantly, equal place to live in the world.