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Disabled People (Discrimination)

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he intends to introduce legislation to outlaw the kinds of unjustified discrimination documented in the paper by the Spastics Society on "Discrimination and Disabled People", a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.

We have no plans for such legislation. The Spastics Society paper is, however, welcome as a constructive contribution to discussion. It recognises some of the difficulties of framing such legislation, for example, how to define discrimination and how to deal with the issue of positive discrimination in favour of disabled people.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cases of alleged discrimination against disabled people have been referred to his Department in the last year; which of these cases reveal evidence of unjustified discrimination; and if he will make a statement.

Since the beginning of May 1984 four cases of alleged discrimination against disabled people have been referred to the Department for investigation. Two were concerned with employment, one with education, and one with an access matter. Two cases are still under consideration. A third, involving an access complaint in Wales, was referred to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales. In the fourth my judgment is that the evidence available does not substantiate a charge of unjustified discrimination.