Disability Rights UK Newsletter

27 April 2023

Improved protections against forced fitting of pre-payment meters

Ofgem has announced a new code of practice, which bans the forced installation of Prepayment meters (PPMs) for people with severe health conditions, including terminal illness, those over 85, people with health conditions that worsen in the cold and those with health-related equipment. Read more about the code of practice on our website.

TUC recommends significant public transport investment

In a new report, the Trade Union Congress is promoting a significant increase in investment in public transport. The report emphasises the Social Benefits of such investment for the whole population, including how this would impact Disabled people, especially as public transport is vital for many people to access employment, education or training. Learn more about the TUC’s latest report on public transport investment on the DR UK website.

Roll out of audio-visual bus announcements

The Department for Transport is introducing rules requiring almost every local bus or coach service to provide audible announcements and visual displays identifying the route and direction, each upcoming stop, and the beginning of any diversions. Read more about the new rules for audio-visual bus announcements on our website.

Sanctions ineffective as a way of getting people into jobs or to work more hours, finds suppressed DWP report

Following an order by the Information Commissioner, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a withheld internal report on the effectiveness of benefit sanctions Among its findings are that sanctions have a minimal effect on moving claimants into work and decrease the rate of movement into higher-paid work. It also says that the policy intent of sanctions is not to sanction individual claimants but to encourage all claimants to comply with their requirements by creating a consequence if they do not. Read more about the DWP report on benefit sanctions on our website.

 MPs launch inquiry asking if working-age benefit levels in the UK are adequate to meet need

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry on the adequacy of benefit levels. It said: “Given the high costs facing households across the UK, we are launching an inquiry into the adequacy of benefit levels in the UK, to help inform current and future Government thinking. We will also look at the relationship between social security and the labour market.” The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is Wednesday 3 May 2023. Learn more about the Committee’s inquiry on the DR UK website.

The health assessments system lets down those who rely on it

The health assessments system to access benefits for those who cannot work or face extra costs due to disability or ill-health continues to let down those who rely on it, a new Work and Pensions Committee report has found. While the MPs acknowledge that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has taken some welcome and significant steps to improve health-related benefit assessments, there remain “important changes that could greatly increase transparency, improve trust in the process among claimants, and ensure more accurate assessments and fewer appeals, that have still not been made.” Learn more about the Committee’s report on the DR UK website

New report reviews York’s blue badge ban

The campaign group Reverse the Ban has published a new research report entitled: ‘The Blue Badge test in York: Can the realisation of disabled people’s rights and the prevention of terrorism be reconciled’. It was prepared for by postgraduate students in International Human Rights and Practice students at York Law School.  Read more about Reverse the Ban’s report on the DR UK website.