Disabled People

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th October 2001.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:30 pm, 15th October 2001

I make no apology whatever for telling someone aged, say, under 25 who wants to sign on for jobseekers allowance, if there is no reason whatever why that person should not work, "You must come for an interview, and if you can work you ought to work." If the Liberals do not believe in that, I part company with them. As for people with disabilities, we have said yes, they must come for an interview, and yes, they must see what options are available to them. No one is saying "You must take a job, no matter what the circumstances are." We are saying "At the very least, you ought to know what options are available to you."

The point is simple. If there are 1 million people out there who want to work, we as a Government owe it to them to ensure that they receive the right help and assistance. I am astonished that the Liberals should be against that.