The UK is at risk of breaching UN guidelines on the rights of disabled people to live independently, according to a government report published today. A report from the joint committee on human rights said the government needs to implement freestanding legislation to protect the right to independent living and explore the ways the current benefit reforms affect the ability of disabled people to live an independent life. ‘While we recognise the exceptional economic circumstances facing the UK, we conclude that there is a risk of retrogression of the UK’s obligations as a result of the cumulative impact of spending cuts and reforms,’ it said.
The MPs on the committee found that reductions in funding for local authorities, changes to disability living allowance under the Welfare Reform Bill, caps on housing benefit and the closure of the independent living fund risk leaving disabled people without the support they need to live independently. The report said that some people fear that ‘the cumulative impact of these changes will force them out of their homes and local communities and into residential care’.
Source: Inside Housing
1 March 2012