Disabled people tell Hancock where to stick his coronavirus laws

Matt Hancock in another coronavirus test scandal
Support us and go ad-free

The Coronavirus Act is once again under the spotlight. This time it’s disabled people who are challenging the changes it made to parts of their lives by launching a petition calling on Matt Hancock to “scrap” parts of it.

The Coronavirus Act

The Canary reported in March that the government made sweeping changes to various laws because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The new rules contained several changes that hit disabled people. The Canary wrote at the time that:

The rules and standards for social care for older, learning disabled, and other people will be relaxed. This means councils can reduce the service and support they provide to vulnerable people. It could leave countless people, reliant on support, without it.

This included disabled people. The Canary also said that:

Councils will not have to do new care plans for older, learning disabled, and other people who need new care. This includes “looked after” and vulnerable children. It means countless vulnerable people could get no support at all.

All these changes came into effect with the Coronavirus Act. On 30 September, MPs debated it. But as Disability Rights UK reported, the government has not reversed the changes to social care.

As a result, disabled people’s organisation Inclusion London has launched a petition.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free
If you tolerate this

It’s calling on health secretary Hancock to scrap the changes. The petition says:

The Coronavirus Act has diminished our rights and allows local authorities to strip away social care. We must stand together and push the government to give them back.

We believe Disabled people already have too few rights and protections, and taking them away at a time when we need support the most is unacceptable. Disabled people have born the brunt of the pandemic, statistics show, almost 60% of people who have died because of Covid-19 were disabled.

We cannot and should not tolerate this.

You can sign the petition here.

Disabled people’s rights eroded

Inclusion London cited stats which show how the act has hit disabled people:

  • Learning disability charity Mencap found that councils had “at least halved” care packages for most learning disabled people.
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that there was an 134% increase in the reported deaths of people living with learning difficulties between 10 April and 15 May.
  • The Disabled Children’s Partnership found that councils had stopped “vital care and support” for 76% of families with disabled children.

But that’s not all. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that by July:

Around one-quarter (25%) of disabled people who were receiving medical care before the coronavirus pandemic indicated they were currently receiving treatment for only some of their conditions (compared with less than 1 in 10 (7%) non-disabled people who had a physical or mental health condition or illness and were receiving care before the pandemic).

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch warned that:

The UK must show its commitment to the rights of people with disabilities by swiftly addressing the most glaring concerns. For some, it is truly a matter of life and death.

Successive governments have ‘gravely’ and ‘systematically’ abused disabled people’s human rights since 2010. The Coronavirus Act is simply another step too far in the eroding of their rights. Inclusion London is right to call for Hancock to reverse the changes. Now – will he listen?

Featured image via Guardian News – YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

Get involved

  • Sign Inclusion London’s petition here.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us