Osborne refuses to assess impact of cuts on disabled people… then slashes their benefits

The chancellor, George Osborne, has refused to make any attempt to assess the overall impact on disabled people of his budget – and his next spending review – despite being urged to do so by the equality watchdog.

His refusal was confirmed by a senior civil servant just as Osborne was preparing to deliver a budget seen by many campaigners as another attack on disabled people’s living standards, in which he slashed future support for hundreds of thousands of people on out-of-work disability benefits.

Only last week, Disability News Service (DNS) revealed government figures which showed that disability poverty rose sharply in the fourth year of the coalition government.

Last summer, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published a report that concluded that assessing the overall impact of welfare reforms and spending cuts on disabled people was “feasible and practicable”, despite ministers repeatedly claiming such a task was impossible.

The report also concluded that disabled people had been hit disproportionately hard by the government’s welfare reforms.

The report was part of work the EHRC was doing with the Treasury and other government departments – including the Department for Work and Pensions – to examine ways of “making financial policy fairer and more efficiently targeted”.

Disabled activists and other campaigners have been demanding since at least 2011 that the government carries out a “cumulative” assessment of the impact of its spending and benefit cuts and other welfare reforms on disabled people.

But work and pensions ministers under the coalition repeatedly ridiculed the idea, even though their own social security advisory committee said it could and should be done.

Now, in the first evidence session of a committee set up by the House of Lords to examine the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled people, a senior civil servant has admitted that attempts to persuade Osborne to carry out such an assessment have failed.

read the rest of this srticle here: http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2015/07/osborne-refuses-to-assess-impact-of-cuts-on-disabled-people-then-slashes-their-benefits/

 

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