HELLO THERE!

HELLO THERE!
WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.
--- HEDDWCH

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Esqualisation + 1

The 'UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities' and the ‘Equality Act 2010’ are the core vehicles to protect vulnerable people’s rights in the face of the ConLib cuts. The Convention is ratified by the UK Parliament and has to be observed by the government of the day.

The Equality Act 2010 at present (there is still bits to be amended by statutory order) contains powerful provisions for the promotion and installation of equality rights for persons with what they call ‘protected characteristics.’ These include for instance, race, gender, older persons, disability, etc. The Act is essentially a law to bring all the other laws relating to equality together under one roof (with some additions such as older people). So with regard to disability, it absorbs the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The definition of disability for all practical purposes remains the same: a person who has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. However, Schedule 1 of the Act specifies (at present - it can be changed by ministerial regulation) ‘long-term’ twelve months or more. Schedule 1 also has other provisions which should be taken note of.

As I type, I’m re-reading the Beatrix Campbell article ‘What does this mean for my daughters?’ from last Friday’s Guardian G2. The article is revealing as it sets out the actions taken by the Fawcett Society and Yvette Cooper in requesting a Judicial Review of Osborne’s June 2010 budget on the grounds that it failed to take account of the legal duty under the 2006 Equality Act (now absorbed by the 2010 Act) to “...give due regard to to the impact on women.” Yvette Cooper undertook calculations which told her: ”The burden shouldered by women taxpayers was 72%.“ She also found out that the Treasury had failed to complete an equality impact assessment of the June budget - a statutory requirement. The treasury were eventually made to produce an impact assessment. Ceri Goddard, CeO of the Fawcett Society claimed this as ”...definitely a win,“ and said ”But the wider battle for the judicial review continues.“

It is in all our interests to watch what happens here. If we take the sentence in italics above and for ‘women,’ substitute ‘disabled people’ we can see how this highlights a statutory requirement for the government to make an equality impact assessment for disabled people when they publish any new Bills - and there will have to be several enactments of the statements in the spending review. I’ll also take this opportunity to remind mental health service users that they can be defined as disabled in relation to the Equality Act - a valuable advantage in their fight for rights and services if they can pragmatically overcome their rather, IMHO, silly reservations about it.

I suggest that this is why the spending review has the statement I quoted in my last PPLOG posting. I also suggest that as many disability organisations, trade unions and individuals should look for the equality impact assessments accompanying new spending review legislation and go over them with a fine tooth comb to lobby MPs and Ministers and with an eye on any necessary judicial review applications.


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Bweebideebobbida

Bweebideebobbida
The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
Ah sweet Youffff