Welfare reform ‘will see £50 a week more cuts to 900,000 disabled people

About 900,000 disabled people will see their weekly incomes fall by at least £50 a week by 2020, because of the continuing impact of the government’s welfare reforms, according to new research.

The research by the consultancy Policy in Practice found that, of 7.2 million working-age, low-income households, more than two-fifths of those containing a working-age disabled person would lose at least £50 a week, compared with November 2016.

read more here: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/welfare-reform-will-see-50-a-week-more-cuts-to-900000-disabled-people/


UN demands annual UK progress report on correcting ‘grave and systematic violations’

A UN committee has told the UK government to produce an annual progress report on how it is implementing the recommendations of a damning inquiry that found it guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of key parts of the disability convention.

The committee of disabled human rights experts concluded last November that the government had violated the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) under the articles on independent living, work and employment, and social protection.

read more here: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/un-demands-annual-uk-progress-report-on-correcting-grave-and-systematic-violations/



“You’ve got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed…”

In what is now becoming a growing problem, a disabled man living in sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes’ Heraldic Court says he has to charge his electric mobility scooter at his carer’s as he is not allowed to charge or park it where he lives.

Three times a week he has to get a taxi to the carer’s house to pick up his scooter so he can use it…”Without it I wouldn’t be able to get out” he says “I struggle to walk fifty yards with my sticks.”

James Hayes is chronically disabled and can hardly walk, due to a degenerative spinal injury in his lower lumbar… “I struggle to walk fifty or one hundred yards with my sticks” he explains “I have to stop and lean against a lamp post as most of the time I’m unaccompanied.”

The only salvation for James is his mobility scooter, which allows him to get out and about and do his shopping in big stores while sitting down. In February it became necessary for him to move into sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes Heraldic Court, off Langley Road South, but was told that he couldn’t take the scooter onto the property.

He left it in a yard for six weeks and then confronted Salix… “They said ‘You can bring it on the premises but you can’t charge it’” James recalls “I can charge it in my flat but that’s on the second floor and I can’t charge it in the communal area, so I’ve had to take it to my carer’s house.”

Home Safety Guide, issued by Salix Homes last year, brought complaints and accusations of discrimination, with guidelines stating that “Mobility scooters must not be stored in communal areas in blocks and sheltered schemes” and “We do not currently provide charging facilities for mobility scooters…”*

Instead, James has had to charge the scooter at his carer’s house, which entails getting a taxi for a double journey three times a week at £6 a time… “It’s costing me loads and I haven’t got a lot of money” he says “But without it I wouldn’t be able to get out…You’ve got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed without it.”

Now James and his advocate are further confronting Salix with Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 which states that public bodies have a ‘general duty’ to ‘have due regard to’ a list of considerations, such as the need to advance equality of opportunity.

Indeed, James believes that Salix Homes could help its disabled tenants by looking at practical solutions. At Heraldic Court – scene of protests when Salix increased service charges recently** – there are three former bin bunkers which could be used as a mobility scooter parking and charging point… “It wouldn’t need much to adapt them, put points in them and upgrade the facilities” he explains “I’ve put it to them but haven’t had a reply.”

He does have a meeting with Salix Homes on Friday, where it is hoped that common sense prevails…

“It’s disappointing because I need the mobility scooter, I’m lost without it” James explains “It’s been a nightmare…”
Salford Star asked Salix Homes for a comment but the email was not even acknowledged and the company has failed to respond.


Austerity has trampled over disabled people’s rights. But the UK won’t admit it

The UN has found that current policies violate both a UN convention and UK legislation. There is little hope for change when the government simply denies it

Like a lot of other disabled people, I’ve been eagerly following the progress of the United Nations’ inspection into the UK’s record on disability rights. Last month in Geneva, a UK delegation faced questioning by a UN committee based on 2,000 pages of evidence gathered during the course of its inquiry. The UN’s final report, published on Thursday, as widely expected, is a 17-page-long catalogue of shame, and highly critical of the UK’s record on almost every area covered by the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).

read the rest of this article by  Mike Lambert in the GUardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/04/austerity-disabled-people-rights-uk-un-government


A mother took her own life after the DWP cut her disabled son’s benefits | The Canary — Britain Isn’t Eating


A mother took her own life after the government took away nearly all her disabled son’s benefits and support, a coroner has ruled.

“What have I got to do? Top myself to get help for my son?”

BBC News reported that 73-year-old Valerie Grant of Great Bridgeford, Staffordshire, “walked in front of a train” and died in April 2017. Prior to this, her severely autistic son had lost a job placement as a bin man, was not entitled to support via a day care centre, had been turned down for accommodation, had lost his Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payments, and was refused a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Grant had reportedly told mental health workers:

What have I got to do? Top myself to get help for my son?

Coroner Andrew Haigh said of Grant’s death:

There were a number of agencies involved, but nobody took a lead. I do have concerns about the lack of support, but I don’t think there’s any one agency that I can write to to try to remedy this…

The inquest concluded that Grant had taken her own life while suffering from depression. And as the verdict was announced, Grant’s step-son reportedly shouted:

It is just being swept under the carpet. One agency blames another agency and they can get away with it.


via A mother took her own life after the DWP cut her disabled son’s benefits | The Canary — Britain Isn’t Eating