UK austerity has devastated disabled people says UN

Disabled rights web

A committee has been assessing the UK’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People

1st September 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Austerity has savaged disabled people's living standards according to a bombshell United Nations report.

The UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People said UK government-imposed cutbacks have sent disability rights spiralling backwards.

It said that it had made more recommendations to the UK than to any other state reviewed and that austerity has brought a significant decline in living standards for the deaf and disabled.

The group has been assessing the UK’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, which the UK government ratified in 2009, and has heard submissions from a range of third sector groups over the past week.

Charities which work with the disabled have said that committee’s recommendations support the issues they have been raising.

A report by the committee has said that disabled people have been left in poverty as a result of benefit cuts and the introduction of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The committee has said that not enough has been done to reflect the Convention within legislation and government policies.

And it expresses concern about measures that will be put in place to protect disability rights when Britain leaves the European Union.

More than 60 recommendations have been made to the UK government, with the calls including the need for legislation to ensure schools provide inclusion for disabled children, sufficient resources to be provided to ensure that disabled people can live at home and a review of benefits sanctions.

The Scottish Government has been praised for some of the initiatives that it has introduced to promote inclusion.

Sally Witcher, chief executive of Inclusion Scotland, said that it is important that issues with the social security system are addressed.

She said: “We welcome recommendations about sufficiently funded and appropriate social support strategies and services across both rural and urban areas. This is a key area which disabled people in Scotland are clear needs to improve, given the currently failings of our social care system. 

“Inclusion Scotland agrees with the committee that Scottish Government is to be commended for its approach to designing a social security system with disabled people. However, the results of this approach remain to be seen. We hope that the approach will help to concretely deliver the rights of disabled people and demonstrate the possibilities of the Scottish approach throughout the UK.”

Stephen Robertson, chair of the law and human rights group within People First Scotland, said: “People First (Scotland) has valued our involvement in the United Nations process and is delighted that the concluding observations of the committee directly support several of our current policy priorities; abolishing substitute decision-making and developing supported decision-making; adequate accommodation within criminal justice and support for disabled parents to fulfil their parenting role effectively.”

Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “After nearly a week considering the UK’s record, the committee paints a worrying picture of the battles disabled people face every day as they seek to lead independent lives.

“We were proud to give evidence to the committee alongside other deaf and disabled people’s organisations. The UK government should now cut the rhetoric and start delivering on these excellent recommendations.”

A UK government spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed that this report does not accurately reflect the evidence we gave to the UN, and fails to recognise all the progress we’ve made to empower disabled people in all aspects of their lives.

“We spend over £50 billion a year to support disabled people and those with health conditions – more than ever before, and the second highest in the G7.

“We’re committed to furthering rights and opportunities for all disabled people, which is why it is encouraging that almost 600,000 disabled people have moved into work in the UK over the last four years.

“We’re also a recognised world leader in disability rights and equality, which is why we supported the development of the UN convention.”

6th September 2017 by MR KEITH CALDER

Aye, right oh. The tories have treated disabled people with the upmost contempt ever seen. I hope some of the tories themselves end up with a disability and end up with a taste of their own medicine. Bunch of backside holes, thats's what they are, especially the ones at the top of the poop tree.