Green Party: Government disability benefit cuts foster prejudice against disabled people

3 February 2017

* Jonathan Bartley, co-leader: Government policy based on false idea that sick and disabled are guilty until proven innocent

The Green Party has condemned Government plans [1] to cut disability unemployment benefit in a bid to get more disabled people into work.

Jonathan Bartley, who co-leads the Green Party as a job share so he can care for his disabled son Samuel, said:

"These cuts are illogical, based on a false premise and clearly pernicious.  Cutting a benefit designed to support sick and disabled people into employment, is no way to help them into work.

"Those at the receiving end are those that even the Government accepts are sick and disabled.  But these cuts will drastically reduce the quality of life for many disabled people and is tantamount to kicking people when they are down.

"Government policy is increasingly based on the false idea that the sick and disabled are guilty until proven innocent, and that if they can be beaten hard enough by a weaponised welfare state they will be forced to find work.

"The Government should instead be focusing on removing the real barriers to finding work.  This includes more support, not less, and working with employers to ensure that the world of work is accessible in every way through practices such as flexible working.  It should also include tackling the widespread prejudice against disabled people which the Government is itself fostering."

Notes:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/03/cut-to-disability-benefits-may-make-return-to-work-harder-claim-mps