Supporting disabled people into employment through social care reform could boost the economy by up to £20 billion, according to new data
Disability charity Leonard Cheshire has calculated that reducing unemployment of disabled people to the levels seen amongst the rest of the population; reducing the wage gap; and allowing some of the inactive population of disabled people to seek work could generate between £6 billion and £20 billion, including £1 to 4 billion in income tax.
The government’s focus to date has been making social care work for people aged 65 plus. This is despite a third of all people who draw on social care being aged 18-64.
Leonard Cheshire’s new campaign, Care for Equality, aims to highlight the potential of social care for working-age disabled adults.
The charity is calling on the government to urgently invest in care and work with disabled people to ensure social care reforms offer them choices and personalised options, so it fully meets their needs. Leonard Cheshire is also asking the government to reform how care staff are paid and to fund training.
CEO Ruth Owen said: “Economic arguments shouldn’t be the reason to reform social care, but as our research shows, they should no longer be a barrier. We want the government to have serious conversations with disabled people about social care, so it can meet their needs and support their life aspirations.
“Social care isn’t just about getting up and washed, though this kind of support is vital. It’s also about people being able to see friends and family, being able to travel, have hobbies, have a job, or seek higher education.
“The current government isn’t the first to kick the proverbial social care can down the road, but it needs to be the last. No more excuses, no more stalling – investing in care benefits everyone.”