Destination unknown: Spring 2011

Six months 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 to the tune of £9 billion.

This research only told half of the story – we could only model the impact of welfare cuts on disabled people and not the implications of cuts to public services and local authority budgets, or the further cuts to welfare announced after the Spending Review. This meant that the losses we estimated were, if anything, an underestimate.

This pamphlet is the first report in a new tracking study, following five disabled families through the course of this Parliament and documenting the impact of fiscal tightening on their lives. The project brings to the fore the real consequences the cuts have for the everyday lives of disabled people and reveals the first-hand experiences of disabled families living on the edge of uncertainty, financial stress and disability poverty.