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SNP seek assurances over Tory policy plan for disabled people


avin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has supported calls for the Tory Government to “act with urgency” over its efforts to halve the disability employment gap and commit to a timetable for delivering the long-awaited Green Paper on support for disabled people and those with ill health.

The Tory Party made halving the disability employment gap a key manifesto pledge in the run-up to last year’s general election but despite this commitment and the overall employment rate increasing, the disability employment gap has persisted.

Employment figures for the first quarter of 2016 show a 33.1% gap between the percentage of disabled people in employment at 46.9% and non-disabled people at 79.9%.

The SNP at Westminster has challenged the new Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt MP, to ask for her assurance that halving the gap is still a priority and for a commitment to delivering the long-awaited Green Paper on changes to disability support.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“It is worrying that little progress has been made on the disability employment gap despite the Tory manifesto commitment to halve the gap and the overall employment rate increasing.

“Without a clear timetable for the consultation period on the Green paper or additional funding to deliver the programme it would be easy for disabled people and their families to feel like their support needs are not being taken seriously by this Tory Government.

“It is also vital that a full and proper consultation is held with medical professionals, the third sector and disabled people. It is of the upmost importance that the Tories work with employers so that it is easier for disabled people to access the workplace or retain the jobs they already have.”

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