A shadow cabinet minister explains why government plans to ‘help’ disabled people are a con

Labour MP hits back at government's plan for disabled people
Support us and go ad-free

The Conservative Party has announced a plan to get more disabled people into work. But Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams says the plan is “nothing more than a guise for more cuts”.

“A guise for more cuts”

In 2016, only 49% of disabled were employed. Now the government has published proposals to change all that. But Abrahams isn’t convinced. She said:

This ‘plan’ from the Government looks like nothing more than a guise for more cuts.

She added:

If this Government really cared about disabled people they would end austerity now which is disproportionately impacting upon disabled people…

And Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) told The Canary:

No matter what the government would like, the fact remains and has consistently remained at the same level for decades regarding disabled people and employment. You could have all the government help in the world… it still doesn’t change your disability and ability to work. Those who are chronically ill, or severely disabled, will not be able to sustain a day in the workplace…

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

This government has no intention of fully investing in disabled people because, for the last eight years, we have been portrayed as a burden to society, and have suffered the most horrendous cuts to income and social care and left carers without support…. ‘Improving People’s Lives’ [the new government plan] contains hidden punitive measures within it, hidden from public view so the public swallow further rhetoric that disabled and chronically ill people are seen as lazy scroungers who should be penalised for receiving state support, when many claimants have previously paid taxes and National Insurance…

As The Canary has previously reported, the UN said our government’s policies have been ‘catastrophic’ for disabled people, with the Shadow Chancellor describing cuts to their benefits as being “absolutely brutal”.

Rhetoric vs reality

The government strategy aims to “break down employment barriers”. Theresa May said:

I am committed to tackling the injustices facing disabled people who want to work, so that everyone can go as far as their talents will take them.

Though, while May will claim she wants to improve the lives of disabled people, government policy in action suggests otherwise. For example, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) told a disabled man he was fit for work, even though he:

has had three strokes, a brain tumour, is unable to speak and can’t walk for more than three minutes.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

For too long society has dictated that people with physical and mental health issues or a disability are a burden.

But the government itself has persistently treated disability as a burden, and has cut mental health services and disability benefits.

The government doesn’t acknowledge that the disability employment gap could also be explained by people being unable to work. It seems more interested in forcing people into work than supporting the needs of the most vulnerable. Continuing austerity measures are a testament to this.

Get Involved!

– Support Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).

Join us, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via screengrab

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