The House of Lords Select Committee has released its report into the impact of the Equality Act on disabled people.   It does not make comfortable reading.  The Committee has found, amongst other things that:

- The Government has used the Red Tape Challenge to remove hard-won protections

-The Public Sector Equality Duty is fatally flawed and should be amended;

- There has been years of inertia in bringing into force provisions (such as those relating to the carriage of wheelchair users in taxis) which could make a positive difference to the lives of many;

-Leisure and housing facilities are too often inaccessible.

The Committee  asked that Government give due consideration to the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when formulating new policy and legislation which may have an impact on disabled people.

The Committee expressed concern over access to justice.  Recent changes to court fees, legal aid and costs reforms have hindered rather than helped.  The Committee recommended that the Government should consider changing the law to allow charities and other bodies which do not themselves have a legal interest to bring proceedings in the interests of classes of disabled people who are not themselves claimants. This would enable them to remedy action already taken by a public authority or to prevent anticipated action.  

Post-legislation scrutiny provides an essential reality check on the extent to which the rhetoric of legislation translates into positive change.  It will be interesting to see the response from Government.