Public Spending: Disabled People

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 14th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

What assessment the Government has made of the cumulative effect on disabled people of recent changes to public spending.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend Sarah Newton—I am sorry that she is not in her place today and that the sector will be disappointed that it has lost a good Minister. We need to take into account the impact not just of our policies, but of the policies of other areas, such as local government.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

Disabled people have been absolutely hammered by this Government, with cuts of £4.8 billion in social security alone, so why was there absolutely nothing in the spring statement yesterday for disabled people, who are at the end of their tether? And please do not say that it was not a fiscal event, because there were spending commitments made yesterday.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

The Department for Work and Pensions has been continuing to do the work that was outlined in the health and work review 12 months or more ago and is making progress. The Department is considering how we can ensure not only that the welfare system works better in supporting disabled people, but that it dovetails with other schemes such as Access to Work. I shall make sure that the Department is aware of the specifics to which the hon. Lady refers.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough

What has happened to total spending on disability benefits since 2010, and what has happened to the employment and unemployment rates for disabled people?

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

Members will know the figures well. The amount currently spent on disabled people and those with health conditions is £50 billion. We are closing the disability employment gap, but there is still much more to do. One of the things that the Department has been doing well is looking at this in the round, along with other issues such as accessibility. We need to support disabled people in relation to every aspect of their lives and every ambition that they have.