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Read transcript of groundbreaking Disabled People and Economic Growth debate

23 February 2018

DR UK has helped secure the first backbench Commons debate, in the main chamber of parliament, on Disabled People and Economic Growth - Thursday February 22nd 2018.

Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Dr Lisa Cameron (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow) (SNP) put the following question, which was agreed to by the House:

“That this House recognises the potential talent pool within the disabled community; notes that there will be an employment gap after the UK leaves the EU and that there is ample opportunity to include disabled workers in economic growth; calls on the Government to act immediately on its commitment to get one million more disabled people into employment by 2027; and further calls on the Government to increase awareness within the business community of the benefits of employing an inclusive workforce.

In doing so she paid tribute to the following;

"..to the Backbench Business Committee for enabling the debate to take place. I also pay tribute to the many organisations that continuously champion the rights of people with disabilities throughout the United Kingdom. Without their enduring commitment, we would not be debating his important issue today. I pay special tribute to Leonard Cheshire Disability, to Disability Rights UK—which acts as secretariat to the all-party parliamentary group for disability, which I chair—and to the Disability@Work group. That group consists of dedicated academics from Cardiff University, Warwick business school and Cass business school, and it contributed to the APPG’s inquiry report “Ahead of the Arc”. Since commissioning the report, the all-party group for disability has been pressing the Government urgently to address the disability employment gap, and I know the Minister is open and willing to listen to the report’s suggestions.”

Lisa said that, to her knowledge, this will be the first debate on disabled people held in the main chamber. The debate was focused, not in terms of disabled peoples benefit entitlement, but their right to participate in the economy - as employees, entrepreneurs and business leaders.