The Conservative Government promised a White Paper on improving employment prospects for the disabled, but on the day the ONS announced the “disability employment gap” has actually widened, the Queen’s speech failed to mention the disabled at all.
As Shadow Minister for the Disabled Debbie Abrahams put it in a tweet: “Driverless cars, drones & spaceport to feature in Queen’s speech. Where’s promised disability/employment White Paper?”
Thanks are due to ‘Cost of Cameron’ on Twitter for providing the evidence to support Ms Abrahams’ comment – a speech by Tory disabilities minister Justin Tomlinson on March 14 this year:
The Government is going backwards in meeting its own main target for improving disabled people’s lives, new official figures suggest.
Ministers say they want to halve the so-called “disability employment gap” by 2020 – the difference between the number of people in work with disabilities work and the number of people without them.
This would mean getting 63 per cent of disabled people into work by the end of the Parliament.
However new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show it is making reverse progress on the metric.
While the number of disabled people in work is up 121,000 since last year, non-disabled people are the main beneficiaries of employment growth and moving into work faster than their disabled counterparts.
The employment rate for people who are not disabled increased by 0.9 per cent compared to 2015, while disabled people’s employment only increased by 0.6 per cent.
As a result, rather than closing, the gap is widening – up by 0.3 per cent to 33 per cent.
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