Midland Mencaps Response: Philip Hammond’s “exceptionally derogatory” comments

Midland Mencaps response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s recent statement to the Treasury Select Committee. Hammond was answering a question about the cause of poor productivity in the economy. He disgracefully implied that the UK’s poor productivity levels were the result of disabled people in the workforce.

Hammond said ‘It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including higher participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements.’

Chief Executive of Midland Mencap, Dave Rogers said:
‘This is an unbelievable and exceptionally derogatory comment from the Chancellor. It’s an overt insult to individuals who work hard and make a significant contribution in the workplace. Disabled workers face many barriers to gaining and sustaining work and to suggest this, for which there’s no evidence at all, risks perpetuating the view of employers that it is not worth employing disabled people because they will impact on work place performance. The Chancellor should issue a full apology and withdraw the comments without reservation. It once again brings into question the Governments policy and moral commitment to disabled citizens.

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