On 28th February 2018, Baroness Deech asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they have taken to address the criticism in the 2017 report of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the lack of obligatory and implemented accessibility standards in the United Kingdom, in particular in relation to transport and the physical environment.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: Does the Minister agree with the UN committee’s concern that not enough is being done to apply the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to involve disabled people themselves in decisions that affect their lives? What have the Government heard from disabled people themselves about the impact of austerity on their access to the physical environment and to housing, transport, information and other services? How will the Minister respond to disabled people’s concerns about the UK’s increasing non-compliance with existing legislation affecting their access to these things—for example, our meeting the obligation to carry out impact assessments and gather statistics about policies likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on disabled people?
Baroness Sugg: My Lords, as I said, the Government are absolutely committed to improving the lives of disabled people in both the UK and through our international development work. We are constructively considering the UN recommendations and will provide an update on the report, as requested, this summer. We have some of the strongest equalities legislation in the world, including the Equality Act 2010. We also have a strong record of engaging with disabled people to inform policy-making across government, supported by clear guidance stating the need to consult with all groups impacted—but of course we seek to continually improve our practices. For example, as I just mentioned, the Department for Transport is consulting on proposed changes to the blue badge scheme, and the views of disabled people received during this consultation will be critical in finalising policy.