U.N. inquiry finds that British welfare reforms trampled on disabled rights

Benefit tales

Britain’s cost-cutting welfare reforms gravely or systematically violated the rights of disabled people, according to a United Nations inquiry published on Monday that was rejected by Britain.

The issue has caused disputes within Britain’s Conservative government, prompting a leading cabinet member, Iain Duncan Smith, to resign in March, complaining that cuts to disability payments were “a compromise too far”.

Among its recommendations, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said Britain should set up a mechanism to permanently monitor the impact of policies relating to disabled people’s standard of living and their ability to work and live independently.

Members of the U.N. committee of 18 independent experts visited Britain in October 2015 and the report was based on more than 200 interviews and some 3,000 pages of documentary evidence.

The 22-page report criticised welfare cuts and caps introduced under an austerity programme the government said would make…

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