Lobby briefing: Andy Rickell, executive director, Scope

Andy Rickell on Scope's rally in support of the Disabled Persons (Independent Living) Bill.

- Why did Scope have a rally in support of the Disabled Persons (Independent Living) Bill on Monday? 

It was an opportunity for disabled people to be visibly angry. Seeing disabled people on the streets campaigning for something is very rare. We want to push the issue of disability, and support for people who require it, up the political agenda.

- Why is the bill important?

Independent living is the next battleground for disabled people's rights. It is about how people can get support without being dependent on others. It isn't just about money; it's about having the right to the relevant care so you can get on with your life. In a sense, all that the Disability Discrimination Act does is provide a right to non-discrimination. It doesn't mean you get a good deal - you just don't get a bad one.

- What is the bill's current status?

At this stage, we don't expect government support. It believes in the idea, but says it will be too expensive. The next stage is to convince the Government that this bill has sufficient support from the public.

- What are the odds of succeeding?

We don't believe this bill will get the Government to cave in now, but we're not going away. We know this bill will keep coming back in one form or another until it is successful.

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