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What we would like to see from Esther McVey

09 January 2018

Commenting on the appointment of Esther McVey as the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Sue Bott from Disability Rights UK said:

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 “The new secretary of state for work and pensions has a very full in-tray when it comes to disabled people. We hope she’ll work with us to come up with practical responses to some of the critical issues around disabled people’s ability to live as full and equal citizens in the UK.

“High on the list are the assessment process for disability benefits such as Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment; these assessments were a growing problem during her earlier tenure as minister for disabled people, and that remains the case.

“The injustices around the bedroom tax and the burgeoning problems with Universal Credit are also things that disabled people are worried about.

“We want to see concrete proposals to support disabled people coming out of the previously announced industrial strategy, and the health and work discussion paper – that is the only way we might start making progress on the stated aim to get more disabled people into paid work.

“If the new secretary of state really wants to make a difference to disabled people’s lives, she’ll have to do more than promote the ‘Disability Confident’ initiative and encourage employers to be more disability friendly. Actions, not words, need to be the order of the day.”   

And on the announcement that Jeremy Hunt was to be given an expanded role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sue said:

“If Jeremy Hunt’s increased role means that the  crisis surrounding social care is to be taken more seriously that is to be welcomed.  However his track record on the NHS does not offer much confidence.”