Disabled people who want to work but need extra help from the Government could find it harder than ever to find a job as more people face the dole queue because of the Tory Government cuts agenda.
Local MP Alex Cunningham yesterday questioned Ministers in the Department of Work and Pensions about the true numbers of disabled people living in poverty – and help available to them.
During the first sitting of the House of Commons following the Christmas recess, Alex, who is a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, highlighted a recent Demos Report, “Counting the Cost”.
The report, funded by Scope, shows that the number of disabled people who currently live in poverty is far higher than official estimates show. Alex said:
“Disabled people face low incomes and high living costs, which are not taken into consideration by official statistics as standard measures of poverty only take income into account.
I was keen raise this with Ministers on behalf of disabled people living in Stockton North and across the country.
I was pleased to hear a reassurance from the Minister, Maria Miller MP, that the Coalition is committed to helping disabled people into work. Only 50% of disabled people are in employment but many more would like to work if they could.
But I am concerned that the savage programme of cuts currently underway will make it more not less difficult for disabled people to find employment. We will have to wait and see if the Minister’s reassurances result in an increase in the numbers of disabled people in work.”