The Government should listen to the UN rather than attempt to defend its record supporting disabled people, charities say.
The intergovernmental organisation heard witness testimonies in Geneva last week, where it was confronted with evidence of the impact made by policies rooted in austerity.
“Social cut policies have led to a human catastrophe in your country, totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in," Theresia Degener, the UN committee chair said.
When Damian Green replaced George Osborne as Chancellor last year he pledged there would 'no more changes to disability benefits this parliament', but a snap election was called soon after and a new parliamentary term begins next week.
Mencap and Hft say the Government should reflect on how austerity has affected disabled people's independence and involvement in society and follow a new strategy.
“This report is damning in its findings that government policies have in many areas directly undermined the rights and wellbeing of disabled people and their families," Dan Scorer, head of policy at learning disability charity Mencap, said.
“Cuts to disability benefits and social care funding have hugely impacted on the lives of people with a learning disability and their families, pushing many further away from full participation in a society that already excludes them in most areas of life."
“We urge the Government to heed this report and take urgent action to work with disabled people and their organisations to develop a new strategy to secure disabled people’s rights and inclusion across the UK.”
Freedom of choice
Hft, who submitted evidence, said they had long been "concerned that budget cuts for local authorities are hindering their ability to properly fund social care, which in turn is limiting the freedom of choice of those being supported by the sector."
A Government spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed that this report does not accurately reflect the evidence we gave to the UN, and fails to recognise all the progress we’ve made to empower disabled people in all aspects of their lives.