UK ignoring the human rights and basic dignity of people with learning disabilities

Tories accused of being ‘arrogant’ and in ‘confused denial’ about the impact of austerity cuts.

A major new report from The Centre for Welfare Reform argues that the UK is tipping backwards to an era of institutionalisation, and of disregard for the human rights and basic dignity of people with learning disabilities.

The report ‘Back to Bedlam‘, written by the distinguished academic and researcher Robin Jackson, warns that decades of progress in advancing disability and human rights is now in reverse, blaming years of austerity and cuts in welfare support.

 The report also argues that policies have been imposed without any significant accountability or discussion, adding that many of these decisions mean the UK is now in breach of international standards.

UN confirms that UK government’s disability treaty violations were both grave AND systematic

The United Nations (UN) committee that found the UK government guilty of violating the UN disability convention has revealed for the first time that its breaches of the human rights treaty were both “grave” and “systematic”.

The decision to clarify the seriousness of the UK’s breaches of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) shows for the first time just how seriously the committee viewed those violations.

read the full story here: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/un-confirms-that-uk-governments-treaty-violations-were-both-grave-and-systematic/

Disability rights have regressed in nine areas, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Disabled people’s rights have regressed in at least nine areas since the coalition government assumed power in 2010, according to a new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The report concludes that disabled people are still being treated as “second-class citizens” and that rights have regressed in many areas of society, while in others progress has stalled.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disability-rights-have-regressed-in-nine-areas-says-ehrc/

MPs hear of activists’ anger and frustration over ministers’ response to UN report

Disabled activists have told MPs and peers of their frustration at not being able to hold the government to account for its “grave or systematic” breaches of the UN disability convention.

The UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) found in November that the UK government had discriminated against disabled people across three key parts of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), following a lengthy inquiry sparked by disabled activists.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/mps-hear-of-activists-anger-and-frustration-over-ministers-response-to-un-report/

 

Government criticised by EHRC over disability rights record… for second time in 12 days

The government has been criticised by the UK’s human rights watchdog over its record on protecting the rights of disabled people, for the second time in just 12 days.

Last week, Disability News Service revealed how the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had been snubbed by the minister for disabled people after raising serious concerns about her government’s response to a report that found it guilty of “grave or systematic” violations of the UN disability convention

Read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/government-criticised-by-ehrc-over-disability-rights-record-for-second-time-in-12-days/

Minister blames benefit claimants for delays in paying universal credit in Great Yarmouth

A government minister has defended the “disaster” of introducing universal credit to Great Yarmouth – and blamed benefit claimants for some of the problems.

Universal Credit replaced six other welfare allowances, including housing benefit, with one monthly payment in Yarmouth and Lowestoft this spring. But delays in claimants getting the money has led to some of the poorest tenants falling into rent arrears and being evicted.

Landlords and councils are owed tens of thousands of pounds in rent, while charities say it has led to more demand on soup kitchens and their services. Paul Cunningham, chairman of the Eastern Landlords’ Association, described the new system as a “disaster”.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council wrote to work and pensions secretary Damian Green in November about the problems caused by the delays in paying universal credit.

In a letter responding to the council, Mr Green wrote the roll-out of the new benefit system had been “carefully planned”, but admitted there had been problems. “We recognise that there are areas for improvement in the service,” he said.

But he said some delays were being caused by claimants “not providing the required evidence” for their claim despite “repeated requests” which meant job centre staff were having to chase them. He said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was dealing with this by making it clearer which information claimants needed to provide.

Mr Green also said the DWP had put extra staff into clearing the backlog of applications.And he said councils had been given £500m in what is called Discretionary Housing Payments to support people in financial difficulty.

Councillors also quizzed Mr Green in the letter about why Yarmouth was chosen as one of the first places in the country to test the new system. Norfolk County councillor Jonathon Childs, called for a meeting between the DWP, local politicians and charities to help those affected.

“The effects of universal credit are really shocking and the length of time that claimants have to wait is far too long,” he said. “What are people meant to live on while the claims are dealt with?”

An investigation by this newspaper found some tenants ran off owing landlords thousands of pounds when they were finally paid, while others were £1500 in rent arrears.

The Yarmouth soup kitchen said it had seen a 300pc rise in demand over the autumn, which it put down to people not receiving universal credit on time.

read more here:http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/minister_blames_benefit_claimants_for_delays_in_paying_universal_credit_in_great_yarmouth_1_4813680

Watchdogs snubbed by minister after raising concerns over UN ‘violations’ report

Four human rights and equality watchdogs have been snubbed by the minister for disabled people after raising serious concerns about how her government dismissed a report that found it guilty of “grave or systematic” violations of the UN disability convention.

The UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) said last month that the UK government had discriminated against disabled people across three key parts of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

But the government responded to the report by dismissing its conclusions and all 11 of its recommendations.

read more here:

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/watchdogs-snubbed-by-minister-after-raising-concerns-over-un-violations-report/