-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Government announces series of reforms meant to improve lives of disabled people

25 June 2019

Today the Government has announced a series of reforms that are meant to improve the lives of disabled people. The announcements relate to a potential Green Paper consultation on benefits, changes to statutory sick pay (SSP) and the forming of a cross-Government disability unit. Promises were made about making sure disabled people are at the heart of government policy. 

Some of the announcements include:

Disability Benefits Green Paper: Consulting disabled people to reform the benefits system.

Reforming statutory sick pay: Overhauling statutory sick pay (SSP) - the minimum employees receive when their health makes them unable to work - to help more people to stay in work and make sure it's accessible to people on low incomes.

A cross-Government disability unit: A new disability unit will be formed to sit in the Cabinet Office alongside the Race Disparities Unit. Early projects will include work with different departments to make housing more accessible and improve disabled people’s experience of consumer markets.

Commenting on this announcement from the prime minister on the future of disability policy, Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK said

"There's much to be welcomed in the government's statement, especially the new cross governmental approach to disability. All government departments have a role to play when it comes to equality.

"However, it has to lead to real change in disabled people's day to day experience.

"Too often we see fanfare announcements with very limited effect; they seem to wither into inconsequentiality when they are scrutinised for impact.

"New housing standards, more support for unemployed disabled people who can work and a new focus on how disability policy is developed and delivered are changes we've been calling for. That includes the Government working directly with organisations run by and for disabled people to help shape the future for disabled people.

"But let's not forget we've had 9 years of austerity. Warm words around supporting disabled people to be part of our society cannot, do not and will not replace benefits and social care packages which have been slashed because of a paucity of resources.

"The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Warm words are welcome. But not as much as the resources required to ensure disabled people lead the lives they want to."