Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:54 pm on 17th November 2016.

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Photo of Patricia Gibson Patricia Gibson Scottish National Party, North Ayrshire and Arran 1:54 pm, 17th November 2016

I am delighted to speak in this debate, but regret—I think that we would all agree about this—that it is so necessary. I thank my hon. Friend Neil Gray for securing the debate.

As we have just heard, the previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, vowed to halve the disability employment gap. At the end of 2015, the employment rate among those living with a disability stood at 46.7% compared with 80.3% for people not living with a disability. According to the Work and Pensions Committee in March 2016, when it launched its inquiry into the previous Prime Minister’s commitment, halving that gap would require getting an additional 1.2 million disabled people into the workplace. However, plans to reduce the employment and support allowance work-related activity component and the corresponding limited capability for work component in universal credit in April 2017 appear to fly in the face of that worthy target set by the previous Prime Minister.