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Praise for Scottish Government actions

Published: 31 Aug 2017 20:45

United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has today published its concluding observations on the UK’s compliance with the UN Convention.

This is the culmination of a two year process of examination. The main findings were:

  • The UK Government’s Personal Independent Payment regulations should be repealed and there should be a review of the Employment and Support Allowance conditionality and sanction regimes
  • The UK Government must do more to engage with disabled people and the organisations representing them when devising policies and legislationwhich impact upon their lives

Commenting on the Committee’s report, Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman said:

“This report is damning of the UK Government and rightly highlights the changes urgently needed to halt the damage they are causing - I hope they will listen.

“It’s clear that while we are committed to improving the lives of disabled people the same simply cannot be said to be true of the UK Government.

“The only positive aspects of policy highlighted in the UN Committee report are those of the Scottish Government. Specifically, the important actions we have taken towards delivering for disabled people across Scotland, our commitment to devising a new social security system for Scotland which is founded on the principles of dignity and respect and importantly, the partnership working approach we have taken to developing these key areas of work.

 “Our approach is in stark contrast to the UK Government’s welfare cuts, introduction of personal independence payments and the benefit sanctions regime which they highlight has taken away vital support for disabled people and their families, all of which have been roundly condemned by the UN.

“The approach the UK Government is taking is hindering not helping people - they must now surely listen and act to prevent further damage being done.

“While we are not complacent and know much more work has to be done, having this positive endorsement for the Scottish approach is confirmation, were it needed, that we are on the right track.”

Background

The Committee report praised the Scottish Government for:

  • Repeatedly calling for the UK Government’s Personal Independent Payment regulations to be repealed and for a review of the Employment and Support Allowance conditionality and sanction regimes
  • Engaging with disabled people and the organisations representing them when devising policies and legislation which impact upon their lives - specifically in building the new social security system and in compiling our national plan to implement the Convention’s principles
  • Adoption of the Accessible Travel Framework and the work underway to make transport systems in Scotland more open and accessible 
  • Following the passing of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 the Scottish Government will publish its first National Plan for British Sign Language in October