The DWP is under fire for ‘selling out’ disabled people to corporations

The DWP logo in front of an explosion
Support us and go ad-free

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is once again under fire from disabled people. But this time, one disabled people’s group has accused it of ‘selling them out’ to corporations.

‘Purple Tuesday’

13 November is ‘Purple Tuesday’. As its website says, it is:

the UK’s first accessible shopping day, established to recognise the importance and needs of disabled consumers and promote inclusive shopping.

The DWP has endorsed Purple Tuesday. Minister for disabled people Sarah Newton told Talking Retail:

Purple Tuesday is a call-to-action for all UK retailers… to introduce measures to make the shopping experience more inclusive and accessible for disabled consumers.

We need to improve the disabled customer experience not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes commercial sense to ensure shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs are open to everyone. Estimates put the spending power of disabled people and their families at £249bn.

£249bn? No wonder companies and groups are already promoting Purple Tuesday on Twitter:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Accessibility and inclusivity, of course, are incredibly important. But Purple Tuesday has not impressed campaign group Disability Labour.

A “sell out” of disabled people

Disability Labour co-chair Fran Springfield said in a statement for The Canary:

This is a disgraceful attempt to ‘sell out’ disabled people to commercial entities. Every day should be an accessible shopping day!

Disability Labour are deeply concerned that the DWP, which harasses and persecutes disabled people on a daily basis, will use video footage to identify if claimants are shopping, what they’re purchasing and even how far they are walking.

I spy…

It’s of little wonder that Disability Labour is suspicious of the DWP’s motives. Because as The Canary previously reported, it has come in for criticism for effectively ‘spying’ on disabled people. Clinical psychologist Dr Jay Watts said in a report about the DWP:

Gym memberships, airport footage, job centres and surveillance video from public buildings are now used to build cases against claimants, with posts from social media used to suggest people are lying about their disabilities.

Meanwhile, co-vice chair of Disability Labour Kathy Bole said:

Sainsbury’s already has form in relation to sharing CCTV footage to spy on disabled benefit claimants. Their surveillance of disabled people has led to increased distress and isolation.

Indeed, as The Canary previously reported, there was uproar when Sainsbury’s revealed it had agreed to hand over CCTV footage to the DWP.

Rancid capitalism 

For the above reasons, Disability Labour has called on Labour Party members to boycott shops taking part in Purple Tuesday. And so they should. Because it’s bad enough that the DWP has been cutting disabled people’s benefits left, right and centre. But now, it wants to make out that it cares about their ability to shop on the meagre scraps it gives some of them. Breathtakingly hypocritical capitalism knows no bounds; not least at the DWP.

Get Involved!

Follow Disability Labour on Twitter.

Featured image via mikegi – pixabay and UK government – Wikimedia 

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed