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Government fails to restore disabled people’s rights

01 October 2020

The government has refused to remove provisions in the Coronavirus Act which allow local authorities to reduce Care Act rights for disabled people and allow the Secretary of State to reduce the rights of disabled children to education support.

Over 100 disability and human rights organisations and over 500 disabled individuals asked the government to restore the rights of disabled people removed by the Coronavirus legislation but our voices went unheard.

Baroness Jane Campbell and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, joined by 28 peers, wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, asking for full Care Act rights to be restored, and powerfully made the case for restoration of rights in the House of Lords on Monday 28 September.

The government debated the Act as required by the six month review on Wednesday 30 September.

DR UK CEO, Kamran Mallick said:  “A groundswell of disabled people, disability and human rights organisations spoke up forcefully to ask for the restoration of our rights. We didn’t succeed. We are not going to go away. Our call remains unchanged. We will not stop raising our voice on this. No other group had their rights removed when this emergency legislation was passed. It’s clear, and it’s simple: those who need care, need care at all times. The need for care for disabled people during this pandemic is greater, not lesser. As such, local authorities must not have the right to remove care under any circumstances. It is a dire indication of how this government, on the verge of releasing its National Disability Strategy, views disabled people. A change is due, now.

“We will challenge any local authority implementing easements to the Care Act, to ensure that disabled citizens get the care and support they need and that easements are only triggered in exceptional circumstances.”

Read the Statement: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2020/september/scrap-coronavirus-act-provisions

Read the Peers letter: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2020/october/peers-letter-health-minister-care-act-easements

Read Shadow Disability Minister Vicky Foxcroft’s article in the Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/disability-coronavirus-government-labour-b691988.html

Read Jim Moore’s column in the Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-act-government-care-homes-social-care-b693013.html

Read the Daily Mirror’s coverage on easements: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/last-minute-bid-end-illegal-22763937