Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

The Government must prioritise, and listen to, disabled people, says Hft

THE Government’s actions do not align with its words, as evidenced by the absence of a UK government minister at the United Nations (UN) hearing on the Government’s violations of disabled people’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons.

Steve Veevers, CEO of learning disability charity Hft, said:

“I was pleased to see that the Government finally faced the United Nations (UN) yesterday, since being found guilty of systemic violations in 2017 and that they were not evading their accountability on the needs of disabled people any longer.

“Unfortunately, however, it seems the Government’s words do not align with its actions. The absence of a UK government minister at the meeting was just one glaring disappointment, and evidence that the Government does not take the needs of disabled people seriously.

“It was refreshing to see the Government highlight the importance of social housing and the need to tackle the barriers facing disabled people who are seeking employment, as just 4.8% of learning disabled adults currently have a paid job.

“We know that learning disabled people want to see change in these areas so they can live their best life possible, as highlighted by our very own campaigning plan, Voices for Our Future. Yet, the Government’s Disability Action Plan, published just last month, failed to address these two key issues.”

Alexandra Gowlland, Deputy Director of the Disability Unit in the Cabinet Office, also told the UN yesterday that ‘the UK Government has a 10-year vision for adult social care’. Mr Veevers says we are yet to see evidence of this.

He concluded:

“Despite its promises, we are yet to see any real evidence that the Government has a clear, long-term vision for social care. Our Sector Pulse Check report, produced in partnership with Care England, found evidence that the Government’s current sticking plaster approach is ineffective, with 84% of adult social care providers reporting that government grants administered in 2023 made no difference to their financial sustainability.

“We would like to see the Government develop a long-term funding settlement for social care that includes a wage for the workforce, that mirrors the importance of their role, and ensures everyone has access to high-quality care and support.

“And, as an election approaches, we would like to see each political party prioritise both social care and the needs of disabled people in their manifestos, working directly with disabled people to ensure their voices are listened to.”


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