PM: ‘Not fair’ for UN to say Government doesn’t help disabled

Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to defend her Government’s disability rights record in Parliament, taking to the dispatch box to reject as ‘not fair’ the UN’s view of disability rights in the UK as a ‘human catastrophe’

Speaking during PMQs on 13 September, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took the opportunity to repeat the words of a report by the UN Committee on disability rights, which had described Britain’s approach as a ‘human catastrophe’.

The accusation brought Mrs May to her feet to say: “Over the time that we have been in Government, we have been seeing more disabled people getting into the workplace.

“We have focused the support we’re giving to disabled people on those who are most in need and we have increased the amount of support that is being given overall to disabled people.”

Referring to the Mr Corbyn’s quotes from the UN report she said: “So, again the picture that he presents is not a fair one”.

But as usual, the Labour leader was just warming up. “The United Nations Committee says and I quote: ‘Government policies have caused grave and serious systematic violations in the rights of disabled people’.

“We‘ve seen punitive assessments and sanctions. Cuts to disability benefits. And the bedroom tax that has hit disabled people. 4.2m of whom now live in poverty.”

Theresa May defends the Conservative Government’s disability rights record Credit: Parliament TV
The Prime Minister hit back: “We spend over £50 billion a year on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions and as a share of GDP, our public spending on disability and incapacity is the second highest in the G7.”

The importance of human rights

The UN report also stated that UK Government ‘legislation fails to recognise living independently and being included in the community as a human right which enshrines individual autonomy, control and choice, as intrinsic aspects of the right to independent living.’

On 13 September, the Care Quality Commission published the document ‘Equally Outstanding’ on how a focus on equality and human rights helps to improve care.

Paul Corrigan, CQC equality and human rights champion, said: “When finances are squeezed, it may seem tempting to view work on equality and human rights as an expendable extra – when in fact it makes both ethical and business sense for this work to be more central than ever.

“There’s a clear link between the quality of care a service provides and whether the people who use it and its staff feel that their human rights are respected and they are treated equally. And equality and human rights will only become more important over time because of demographic and system change; research shows that money spent on reducing health inequalities is the most efficient way of improving health outcomes for a local population.”

To read the CQC document ‘Equally Outstanding’ visit:


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  1. Lies again from Theresa. £50 bn myth being rolled out wrongly again.

    Damian Green claims that the government spends £50 billion a year on disabled people, so everything must be OK
    The Institute of Fiscal Studies report on spending on benefits for disabled people says the actual spend is £36,063bn but this actually benefits that are not counted as working age disability benefits (Attendance Allowance which is for over 65s, Statutory Sick pay, Carer’s Allowance, War Pensions, Industrial Injuries Benefits and the ILF which the government has closed)

    The total of those benefits not paid to disabled people is £7,908bn

    So actual spend on all working age benefits for disabled people is £28,155 billion

    Plus report says:
    • The spending on DLA/PIP is only half what it was in 1995-96
    • Spending across Great Britain on disability benefits in 2014–15 totalled £13.5 billion. At 0.8% of national income this is half the level of disability benefit spending when it was at its peak in 1995–96.

    • The overall number of individuals receiving disability benefits has fallen slightly since the mid-1990s. But this is in the presence of underlying demographic change that would have tended to push up the numbers receiving considerably – both overall population growth and the baby boomer generation reaching older working ages.

  2. “Over the time that we have been in Government, we have been seeing more disabled people getting into the workplace.”
    IOW We have cut disabled benefits and sanctioned them so that they either starve or commit suicide. If any of them finds paid work because of our cruelty, in an attempt to survive, they were lying about being disabled. Either way, there’s one less to help and it looks good for our figures.
    The practice is much the same as witch floating. If you drown you were innocent, if you float, we’ll burn you for a witch because you are guilty so it’s in your own interest to drown. In other words, you can’t win.

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