Election 2015: The government’s record on disability in 60 news stories  

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The actions and words of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government as reported in 60 Disability News Service stories published over the 60 months of the coalition

 

May 2010: Coalition plans for government: School inclusion fears realised

The fears of inclusive education campaigners have been borne out after the new coalition government pledged to “remove the bias towards inclusion” in disabled children’s education. READ MORE…

 

May 2010: Government coalition appointments: Freud to head welfare reform

Union activists have raised major concerns at the appointment of the ministers who will be responsible for welfare reform in the new coalition government. READ MORE…

 

May 2010: Report hints at new attack on DLA

A new report has raised concerns that the coalition government could be planning moves to cut the amount it spends on disability living allowance. READ MORE…

 

May 2010: Government cuts raise fears

Disabled activists have warned that the £6.2 billion spending cuts announced by the government this week could have a severe impact on disabled people’s lives. READ MORE…

 

June 2010: New disabled people’s minister pledges to fight for rights

The new Conservative minister for disabled people has pledged to work closely with disabled people, improve access and equality and work towards ending disability poverty. READ MORE…

 

June 2010: EHRC faces budget cuts

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has been told by the government to slash its spending this year by nearly 12 per cent. READ MORE…

 

June 2010: Government’s benefits bashing ‘could lead to hate crime’

Activists have warned that repeated government references to the need to slash the disability benefits bill could lead to a rise in disability hate crime. READ MORE…

 

June 2010: Emergency Budget: Government set to restrict DLA eligibility

The government is set to launch a major reform of disability living allowance – with tighter eligibility, a new medical test and reassessments for all claimants of working age. READ MORE…

 

July 2010: Treasury fails to remove disablist comments from cuts website

The government has been forced to suspend its new spending cuts website after it allowed members of the public to post offensive comments about disabled people – and then failed to remove them. READ MORE…

 

August 2010: Minister warned chancellor of spending cuts equality duty

Home secretary Theresa May has warned the chancellor that the government’s planned spending cuts could cause it to breach its legal duty to promote disability equality. READ MORE…

 

August 2010: Government plans make mockery of equality goal

New government plans for how public bodies should promote equality are an “enormous setback” in the battle for disability rights, according to horrified disabled people’s organisations and activists. READ MORE…

 

September 2010: Government backs calls for simpler, clearer social care laws

The government has backed calls for new, simpler laws on social care to replace the current “piecemeal” state of the legal framework. READ MORE…

 

September 2010: Government fails to back EU bus and coach laws

The coalition government is refusing to back proposed laws that would provide new rights for disabled bus and coach passengers across Europe. READ MORE…

 

October 2010: Government spending review: New benefit cuts spark anger

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are set to lose their out-of-work disability benefits, as part of new government plans to cut another £7 billion a year from the welfare bill. READ MORE…

 

December 2010: Anger after Duncan Smith blames IB claimants for budget deficit

Horrified disabled activists have reported the work and pensions secretary to the equality watchdog after he seemed to blame incapacity benefit claimants for the size of the government’s budget deficit. READ MORE…

 

February 2011: Blue badge reforms ‘are huge step forward’

The government has announced major reforms of the blue badge parking scheme for disabled people – the first on such a scale since its launch 40 years ago. READ MORE…

 

February 2011: Proposals ‘will help more disabled people into parliament’

The government hopes a new strategy will help more disabled people become local councillors and MPs. READ MORE…

 

February 2011: Minister seeks clemency for thalidomide survivor from Philippines president

A government minister has written to the president of the Philippines to ask for the release of a thalidomide survivor who has served 18 years in prison for drug smuggling. READ MORE…

 

March 2011: Government sparks anger after weakening Equality Act duties

A shock government move to weaken the rules on how public bodies must promote equality will make it harder for disabled people to challenge their policies and decisions, say campaigners. READ MORE…

 

March 2011: Government’s new attack on equality watchdog

The government has published “radical” plans to reduce the duties and responsibilities of the equality watchdog. READ MORE…

 

May 2011: Government presides over Access to Work slump

The coalition government has presided over a dramatic slump in the number of disabled people granted new funds to make their workplaces more accessible. READ MORE…

 

October 2011: Justice secretary faces high court challenge over legal aid cuts

The government is facing a high court challenge from a disabled people’s organisation over its sweeping cuts to spending on legal aid. READ MORE…

 

November 2011: Government rewrites history for UN report

The government appears to have left out any mention of the brutal cuts to disabled people’s benefits and services in a crucial report about how it is implementing the United Nations disability convention. READ MORE…

 

December 2011: Baker applauded for £40 million rail access boost

A transport minister has announced new funding of nearly £40 million to improve access to Britain’s railway stations. READ MORE…

 

January 2012: Responsible Reform: Government ‘misled parliament’ over DLA reforms

The government misled parliament and the public about the scale of opposition to its reform of disability living allowance, according to a ground-breaking new report researched, written and funded by disabled people. READ MORE…

 

March 2012: Campaigners set for legal action as welfare bill clears final hurdle

The government’s controversial welfare reform bill – which will see huge cuts to disability benefits, among other major changes – has cleared its final parliamentary obstacle and is now set to become law. READ MORE…

 

March 2012: Budget 2012: Shock at new £10 billion threat to benefits

Campaigners have warned that this week’s budget has produced a new and worrying attack on disabled people’s rights and support. READ MORE…

 

May 2012: Disability movement divided over Remploy closures

Significant parts of the disability movement have backed disabled Remploy workers who are set to lose their jobs because of government plans to shut their sheltered factories. READ MORE…

 

July 2012: Government refuses to research hate crime impact of special schools

The Department for Education has rejected a key recommendation of the equality watchdog’s disability hate crime inquiry, which could have undermined the government’s anti-inclusion stance on the education of disabled children. READ MORE…

 

July 2012: Government wants eight-year delay in new rights for disabled passengers

The government is seeking to delay major parts of a new European regulation that would have given powerful rights to disabled bus and coach passengers. READ MORE…

 

October 2012: Conservative conference: Alarm as Osborne announces new £10 billion welfare cuts

The chancellor has sparked an angry reaction after pledging to make another £10 billion worth of benefit cuts in the first year after the next general election. READ MORE…

 

October 2012: Support for SEN reforms, but frustration continues over funding for segregation

The coalition has received some backing from disabled people’s and disability organisations for its proposed special educational needs reforms, but has been warned that key concerns remain over its funding for segregated schools. READ MORE…

 

November 2012: Government offers £300 million boost to specialised housing

Housing providers will be able to bid for money from a £300 million fund to help boost the provision of specialised housing for disabled and older people. READ MORE…

 

December 2012: Survivors say government’s £80 million grant is huge relief to thalidomiders

Thalidomide survivors have welcomed a 10-year, £80 million government grant that will help fund the increasing support needs they face as they grow older. READ MORE…

 

February 2013: Minister’s ‘hypocrisy’ over pledge on transport barriers

A minister has been accused of hypocrisy after pledging to break down the barriers to disabled people’s access to public transport, only days after confirming lengthy delays to new European bus and coach access rules. READ MORE…

 

February 2013: New act is ‘watershed moment’ in fight against mental health stigma

The passing of new legislation that scraps archaic laws that discriminated against people with mental health conditions in business and public life is a “watershed moment” in the fight against stigma, say campaigners and MPs. READ MORE…

 

April 2013: Duncan Smith follows McVey in using misleading figures to whip up hostility

Another government minister has used misleading figures to try to whip up anger about the scale of spending on disability living allowance, in order to try to justify the coalition’s programme of cuts and reforms. READ MORE…

 

April 2013: More than 50 user-led organisations join government’s new alliance

More than 50 user-led organisations from across the country have signed up to the government’s new “alliance” of disability organisations. READ MORE…

 

May 2013: Care bill is ‘culmination of 25 years campaigning for independent living’

Disabled peers have welcomed the government’s new care bill, but have warned that passing the legislation will mean nothing without action to solve the social care funding crisis. READ MORE…

 

July 2013: DWP finally reveals ‘shocking’ number of Atos PIP assessment sites

The number of disability assessment centres provided by the controversial IT company Atos will only be one seventh of the number it promised when it won a £184 million government contract, Disability News Service can reveal. READ MORE…

 

July 2013: Government’s ‘softly, softly’ jobs conference sparks anger

The government has held a huge conference to set out its “non-confrontational” approach to persuading business to employ more disabled people. READ MORE…

 

November 2013: ‘Pernicious and vindictive’ bedroom tax must be scrapped, say MPs

MPs have heard how disabled people across the country have had their lives devastated by the government’s “bedroom tax”. READ MORE…

 

November 2013: Government secretly ‘opens the floodgates into specials schools’

The government has secretly “opened the floodgates” that will see increasing numbers of disabled children being forced into special schools, say campaigners for inclusive education. READ MORE…

 

December 2013: PIP assessments: Reports mount of long waits as government admits delays

Delays to the roll-out of the government’s new disability benefit are even worse than previously feared, mounting evidence suggests. READ MORE…

 

January 2014: Doubt cast over accessible transport progress report

A government progress report paints far too rosy a picture of the accessibility of public transport, say campaigners. READ MORE…

 

February 2014: More than 100,000 disabled people had benefits ‘sanctioned’

More than 100,000 disabled people had their unemployment benefits removed in just one year as a punishment for not complying with strict new government rules, according to official figures. READ MORE…

 

March 2014: Government ducks challenge on accessible housing

The government has ignored calls to introduce tough new accessible housing standards. READ MORE…

 

April 2014: Osborne’s new social security spending cap ‘will increase disability poverty’

A controversial budget measure is set to increase even further the number of disabled people living in poverty. READ MORE…

 

September 2014: Access to Work: Scheme accused of distressing, penny-pinching incompetence

The government’s Access to Work programme is plagued by “penny-pinching”, administrative incompetence, and “rude” and “intimidatory” communication that is causing disabled people “immense distress”, leading campaigners have told a committee of MPs.

READ MORE…

 

September 2014: New plan aims for more senior civil servants

The government has published a new plan that it hopes will see more disabled people achieving senior positions in the Civil Service. READ MORE…

 

September 2014: New PIP figures bring fresh warnings over delays and reassessments

At least 150,000 disabled people have been waiting longer than four months for the government to decide on their claims for the coalition’s new disability benefit, new official figures suggest. READ MORE…

 

October 2014: Government admits DSA cuts ‘will have negative impact’ on disabled students

The government has admitted that its planned cuts and reforms to disability-related higher education support will have a “negative impact” on disabled students, and increase the chance of them facing discrimination at university. READ MORE…

 

October 2014: ESA claimants set for leap ‘from frying-pan into fire’ as Maximus wins WCA contract

The government has sparked fury after appointing a US company with a lengthy record of discrimination, incompetence and alleged fraud to take over delivery of its controversial “fitness for work” tests from the much-criticised Atos Healthcare. READ MORE…

 

November 2014: Work Programme failure to help disabled people ‘is a scandal’

The failure of Work Programme contractors to provide enough employment support to disabled people and other “harder-to-help” benefit claimants is “a scandal”, according to the chair of an influential committee of MPs. READ MORE…

 

November 2014: DWP admits investigating 60 benefit-related deaths since 2012

The Department for Work and Pensions has carried out 60 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths in less than three years, Disability News Service can reveal. READ MORE…

 

December 2014: Lib Dems pick disabled peer as new president

A disabled peer has become the first wheelchair-user to head a major UK political party, after Liberal Democrats elected her to be their next party president. READ MORE…

 

February 2015: Government opts again for secrecy on benefit deaths

The Department for Work and Pensions has refused to publish secret reviews that should reveal whether the government’s welfare reforms were to blame for any of the deaths of 49 benefit claimants. READ MORE…

 

March 2015: Access to Work: Plans for new cap on awards ‘is huge concern’

Government plans to restrict how much support any individual can receive through the Access to Work scheme are a “huge concern” and will damage efforts to encourage Deaf people to become teachers, lawyers and politicians, campaigners have warned. READ MORE…

 

March 2015: More than 100 a week losing their Motability vehicles, thanks to PIP

More than 100 disabled people every week are losing their Motability vehicles after being assessed for the government’s new disability benefit, the charity has confirmed. READ MORE…

 

March 2015: Harper stays silent over his ‘totally unacceptable’ office access measures

The minister for disabled people has been heavily criticised for failing to ensure that his constituency office is accessible to disabled people, after Disability News Service confirmed that a ramp used by his staff is potentially unsafe. READ MORE…

 

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