Tory cuts violated rights of disabled people, instead of listening they are making deeper cuts.
The Tories’ cuts to welfare violated the rights of disabled people, a United Nations inquiry has found.
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said Britain should set up a watchdog to monitor the impact of policies relating to disabled people’s standard of living.
They said reforms brought in under former Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith had “gravely or systematically” violated the rights of disabled people in a report published today.
Members of the U.N. committee of 18 independent experts visited Britain in October 2015 and the report was based on more than 200 interviews and some 3,000 pages of documentary evidence.
The 22-page report criticised welfare cuts and caps introduced under an austerity programme the government said would make the welfare system fairer and reduce benefit fraud.
“Persons with disabilities have been regularly portrayed negatively as being dependent or making a living out of benefits, committing fraud as benefit claimants, being lazy and putting a burden on taxpayers, who are paying ‘money for nothing’,” it said.
The allegation was unsubstantiated, but disabled people were subject to increasing hostility and aggressive behaviour.
The government had not factored disabled people’s needs into its reforms, and cuts in housing benefits had caused high levels of stress and depression, the report said. Programmes to encourage them to find work “had no visible impact”, and many were driven into debt and forced to resort to using food banks.
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “The United Nations has found today that there is reliable evidence that shows this Tory Government is responsible for grave violations of the rights of disabled people under its failing austerity plan.