VIDEO: Disabled Milton Keynes mum calls for '˜rethink' on living costs
A mum is calling for urgent change to tackle the cost of living for disabled people.
Milton Keynes resident Marie Andrews suffers with Osteogenesis imperfecta, and says the costs of living with it are becoming ever more problematic as she raises her young son Mark with her husband .
“Life is a lot more expensive for me, just because I’m disabled,” she says.
"I have to spend a lot of money on extra things just for my life. I do get DLA (£80 a week) but that doesn’t cover any of it.
"Some extra costs are everyday things but some costs are even bigger, one example being my wheelchair. I really need a new wheelchair but it’s going to cost £9,500 and we really can’t afford to cover that cost.
"I feel guilty as well, as a parent, if I can’t do something with Mark if my wheelchair is broken for instance.
Costs to adapt the kitchen also topped the £6,000 mark, as recent research by disability charity Scope found that half a disabled person’s income goes on disability related costs.
Twenty per cent of disabled people pay over £1,000 per month extra, and Scope is backing Marie by calling for a ‘complete rethink’ on how the ‘disability price tag’ is tackled.
Mark Atkinson, chief executive at disability charity Scope, said: “Disabled people often have to buy equipment that other people don’t.
“Sometimes their condition means disabled people have no choice but to use more of something, like heating. In other cases, they are charged extortionate rates for things like insurance.
“We’ve heard shocking stories - £15 for a knife, £600 for a wheelchair battery, and £1,200 for a reclining chair - from disabled people all over the country about how much more they are paying.
“Scope research shows that on average all these costs add up to a ‘disability price tag’ of an extra £570 per month.
“We need a complete rethink on how we tackle this issue and how Government, businesses, markets and the public work and interact with disabled people.”
Marie added: “Something needs to change, because it’s not fair that socialising is more expensive, going out as a family is more expensive and even getting to work can be more difficult.”