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UN: 'Grave' Disability Rights Violations Under UK Reforms

The BBC reports that the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD) has found that “changes to benefits have ‘disproportionately affected’ disabled people.”

“As part of its inquiry, the CRPD also looked at a range of recent welfare reforms and legislation including the Welfare Reform Act 2012, Care Act 2014, and Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016”

“The Inquiry concluded that changes to housing benefits and criteria for parts of the Personal Independence Payment, along with a narrowing of social care criteria and the closure of the Independent Living Fund, all hindered disabled people’s right to live independently and be included in the community.”

Other findings:
◾Disabled people were regularly portrayed negatively as “dependent or making a living out of benefits, committing fraud as benefit claimants, being lazy or putting a burden on taxpayers”
◾Sanctions for some Employment and Support Allowance claimants “increased significantly” from 2012-2014 and had been “disproportionately applied”
◾The so-called “bedroom tax” and social housing size criteria “failed to recognise the specific living arrangements” disabled people require
◾Assessments did not take into account the “support persons with disabilities need to perform a job or the complex nature of some impairments and conditions”
◾Some work schemes “had no visible impact in decreasing unemployment” among disabled people, and some who accessed other programmes experienced reductions in support or “loss of employment”

The inquiry also said welfare assessors displayed a “lack of awareness and limited knowledge of disability rights and specific needs”, and disabled people experienced “anxiety and psychological strain” due to uncertainty about assessment results.

The BBC highlights the finding that “measures have caused financial hardship to persons with disabilities resulting in… arrears, debts, evictions and cuts to essentials such as housing and food.”

The committee made 11 recommendations to the UK government, including calling for a complete impact assessment of reforms introduced since 2010, and introducing measures to fight “negative and discriminatory stereotypes”.

What do you think of the findings of this UN inquiry? Do you too believe that the government welfare reforms have had a disproportionately negative effect on disabled people? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.



  • Hazel Blackbourn:

    09 Dec 2016 09:28:00

    I do believe that Disability claiments have been unfairly targeted, resulting in varying degrees of duress and stress, including deaths from heart atracks and suicides. It is absoluteabsolutely disgusting what the government has done and did in the name of stopping frauding. The frauding hasn’t stopped and never will, but genuine people being used as a easy target, is crimminal!!!!!

  • Linda Matthews:

    12 Dec 2016 19:33:44

    Personal independent Payments are a evil devised by a government that wishes to blame its own people for its own shortcomings,the criteria when assessing people makes the claimg of this benefit now just about impossible.The assessors are vindictive cruel and they belittle the ill and vunerable of society,they have no knowledge of medical matters and they over rule hospital consultants and GPs.

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