Disability Benefits and Social Care

Part of Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:59 pm on 20th June 2012.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 1:59 pm, 20th June 2012

I commend my hon. Friend for his work in this area. I hope to visit his constituency to see the work he has been doing, ensuring that the disabled people he represents have the job opportunities I know they want.

Shamefully, much of what we have heard today has been scaremongering. Nothing illustrates that better than the claim by the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill, as stated in the motion,

“that the Department for Work and Pensions has dropped the aim of achieving disability equality”.

That is an outrageous and unfounded claim, intended to frighten some of the most vulnerable people in society.

This Government enacted the Equality Act 2010, which applies to disabled people. Our approach is set out in our equality strategy, which states that

“equality will be a fundamental part of the Government’s programmes across the UK”,

and the DWP business plan explicitly states that we will

“enable disabled people to fulfil their potential”.

That is a clear and practical expression of how we have made equality a reality, rather than merely the warm words offered by the right hon. Gentleman.