The Office for Disability Issues transferred to the Cabinet Office from the Department for Work and Pensions in November 2019. It joined the race disparity unit and the Government Equalities Office to be part of the new Equalities Hub in the Cabinet Office. The new cross-departmental disability unit will work closely with disabled people, and disabled people’s organisations and charities, to rightly bring disabled voices into the heart of Government.
Ministers will be aware that the DWP is currently preparing a cross-government national disability strategy. At the same time, the DWP has lost the cross-government Office for Disability Issues, as it has been subsumed into the Cabinet Office’s Equalities Hub. Do the Government believe that this will enhance or detract from the eventual national disability strategy? It must surely be to its detriment.
I thank my hon. Friend for raising this issue and highlighting that it is part of the Cabinet Office’s Equalities Hub. In the meantime, the Department for Work and Pensions is bringing forward a Green Paper in the coming months to see how the welfare system can work with our claimants and people with health conditions. We have already done roundtables and workshops on this. This is a priority for this Government and my Department. Whether it sits in the Cabinet Office or not, it remains a priority that we will work together on.