The government’s new National Disability Strategy – which promises to bring about “practical and lasting change” – promised only 29.5p in new funding for every disabled person in the UK.
Analysis by the Disability News Service (DNS) has shown that the government has pledged only £ 4.13 million in new funding to the strategy, despite claims by Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) that the document is the “down payment” on his promise to “build” is better and fairer back for all of our disabled people ”.
Though ministers claimed last month that the strategy’s commitments “through 1.6 billion in funding allocated to support segregated schools.
The government has yet to explain where the other £ 500 million was allocated, but it is not believed to be new money.
The few new funding commitments include up to £ 1 million to improve access to the seaports on the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly; £ 180,000 for an autism awareness campaign; £ 1.5 million to help the smallest bus operators provide audiovisual information about their services; an additional £ 450,000 for new changing rooms across the transport network; and up to £ 1 million to develop a new center for assistive and accessible technology.
But when you divide it among the 14.1 million people with disabilities in the UK, that £ 4.13 million total is just 29.5 pence per person.
The lack of new funding will reinforce the impression that the strategy has been filled with promises to carry out research, hold consultations and discussions on further action and update or improve existing programs (see separate article).
Mark Harrison, a member of the steering group for the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA), said the new funding of just 29.5p per disabled person was “an insult.”
Describing the strategy as’ smoke and mirrors’, he added: ‘It is the entire responsibility of people with disabilities to overcome the barriers instead of removing them.
“It’s a list of announcements, it’s not a strategy.”
Fazilet Hadi, Director of Disability Rights Policy UK and on behalf of the new DPO Forum England, a network of many of the country’s leading disability organizations, pointed out that even the small amount of the new funding was drawn from existing budgets.
She said, “The $ 1.6 billion spending announced under the National Disability Strategy
Tracey Lazard, executive director of Inclusion London, said the apparent new funding of just £ 4.13million shows that “the so-called strategy is really nothing more than a cynical recomposition of current policies and budgets, all of which have not been met “. our rights and equality back on track ”.
The Government’s Disability Unit referred strategy questions to the Department of Labor and Pensions (DWP).
A DWP spokesman refused to answer questions about the analysis and instead referred DNS to a press release at the time the strategy was released, in which he said it “outlines the government’s position on the National Disability Strategy.”
He added, “We have no further comments at this point.”
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