Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) boss Esther McVey has made her first Conservative Party conference speech since taking on that role. But far from it being a roaring success, one campaign group has said she’s either an “outright liar” or “utterly deluded”. Maybe it’s both?
The DWP: ‘fake news’ by whom…?
During McVey’s speech on Monday 1 October, which was more soundbites than substance, she made several claims about benefit spending.
First off, the work and pensions secretary accused people of peddling “fake news”:
If you were to believe everything you heard from the Labour Party or read on social media you’d think we somehow were letting down the most vulnerable in society.
Especially the disabled.
However, those who are saying we are cutting budgets are peddling fake news.
It’s worth noting that McVey used the wrong term – “the disabled”; her speech was intended to say the right term – ‘disabled people’. ‘The disabled’ is not correct. Unless you think disabled people are one, homogenised group who should all be treated the same and can’t speak for themselves.
But her out-of-touch speech then continued. McVey went on to claim:
So here’s the real news:
We have never spent more on those with disabilities and long-term health conditions. We spend over £50bn a year, up £9bn on 2010.
‘Deluded’ or an ‘outright liar’?
As The Canary has repeatedly reported, the £50bn figure is nonsense. It’s been widely debunked, as it includes benefits which are not just for disabled people, like Housing Benefit and Carer’s Allowance. The true figure for 2017/18 was £39bn.
Linda Burnip from campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) told The Canary:
The House of Commons Library estimates that there has been a £37bn cut from welfare spending; mostly affecting disabled people.
Yet McVey has the gall to stand in front of the sparse Tory Party Conference audience and say that cuts to spending on disabled people is ‘fake news’. She is either utterly deluded or an outright liar. But in either case she is unfit to be a minister.
“Utterly deluded” or an “outright liar”? Some people would say both.
Do your bit for independent journalism
Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.
We need you to help out, if you can.
When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.
You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.
In return you get:
- Advert free reading experience
- Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
- 20% discount from our shop