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United Nations to Investigate Disability Deaths Over UK Benefit Cuts


London, September 1 (RHC)-- The United Nations is set to launch an inquiry into whether the UK government’s welfare cuts led to rights abuses and death of more than 2,000 disabled Britons. 

UN officials will reportedly visit the UK in the next few months to investigate whether Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms have led to “grave or systematic violations” of disabled people’s human rights, the Sunday Herald has revealed. 

This comes after the Department of Work and Pensions revealed last week that 2,380 people have died within six weeks of being declared ‘fit to work’ by the government between 2011 and 2014.  A formal inquiry has already been launched by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Herald added. 

UN investigations are conducted confidentially, but a leading Scottish disability charity group has told the Sunday Herald it has been advised a visit by the Special Rapporteur and members of the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities is expected in the “near future.” 

According to Inclusion Scotland, a consortium of disability organizations in Scotland, by 2018, more than 80,000 disabled people in Scotland will lose some or all of the help with mobility costs they were previously entitled to. 

Now William Spring, human rights activist, says the governments’ welfare cuts have posed the risk of injustice to members of the public.  According to findings released by Inclusion Scotland, disabled people in some areas of Scotland are waiting for up to 10 months to access Personal Independent Payment disability benefits, due to delays in assessments taking place. 

Most families with disabled children will lose around £1,500 a year as a result of changes to child tax credits under the new Universal Credit system.
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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