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

The hon. Lady will know that they will be pleased that they have a Government who have protected the specialist disability employment budget—£320 million—and we want to make sure that it is working better for more people. We estimate that we could support an extra 8,000 people into employment if we were to use the money in a more compelling way. None of this reform was the sort of reform that the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill was looking at.

Let us also consider the work capability assessment, as Labour Members raised it. They will know that we inherited the programme from the right hon. Gentleman, but it was a harder, harsher and tougher process than the one we have now put in place. Since taking office, this Government have brought in Professor Harrington to renew these arrangements. Furthermore, we have listened to and implemented all the recommendations made in his independent review. The changes softened the system—