28 Jul 2021

National disability strategy a missed opportunity, say campaigners

Home Affairs Correspondent

The government has unveiled its £1.6 billion national disability strategy to a somewhat muted response.

Campaigners and charities have welcomed some of the measures, but say the whole thing is lacking in scope and ambition.

The pledges include:

– More accessible homes, by raising planning requirements for new builds and adapting old ones

– A survey of every mainline train station in the UK to determine how accessible they are

– £300 million to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

But all this comes after years of cuts to disability welfare, with 650,000 disabled people having had their Personal Independence Payments reduced or cut completely since 2013, and spending on disability welfare this year will be £5 billion less than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

A 2019 report by the UN Human Rights Commision said the changes were driving some disabled people to “breaking point”.