Disability costs commission encourages disabled to come together
10th July 2015
The Extra Costs Commission has recommended that disabled people work together in order to become a collective consumer force, in order to help lower the cost of living.
It is estimated that disabled people as a collective have a £212 billion spending power annually, often dubbed as the Purple Pound, but businesses are still failing to cater for this group. Whether this is providing an unhelpful service or not offering potential discounts that would attract more disabled customers, businesses still have a lot of work to do in order to benefit from the Purple Pound.
Those with disabilities can incur extra costs of £550 per month than those without, which Scope has described as a ‘financial penalty’ on everyday living. For example, disabled people may need to pay more for utility bills if they are spending more time at home, or buy products which are necessary due to their mobility difficulties such as reconditioned stairlifts.
An attempt to nudge disabled people into more beneficial relationships with businesses
These are all costs that can mount up substantially over time, but are also costs which could be lessened if discounts were offered to disabled people. By offering a discount or benefit for people with a disability, more would be encouraged to spend with a particular company, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
However, a blog published by the BBC claims that due to the stigma in the 60s and 70s, many people are still afraid to label themselves as disabled, in case they are deemed inferior. There are currently 12 million disabled people in the UK, and if more people were willing to identify themselves as disabled, they could work together to be an incredibly powerful consumer group.
The Extra Costs Commission is looking to meet again next summer in order to see if its recommendations have made a difference to those with Purple Pound spending power.
Image Credit: jo.sau (Flickr.com)
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