The Tory Government is to introduce an “ambitious” new strategy, supporting disabled people in all aspects and phases of their life. They state that they will use “all the levers of Government” to support disabled people to achieve their full potential.
In the background notes to the Queen’s speech at the end of last year, the government state that they want to transform the lives of disabled people, ensuring they have access to opportunities which can help achieve their potential and “lead a life of opportunity and fulfilment”. The strategy is to be developed with disabled people, disability organisations and charities, and will include housing, education, and transport needs.
You’ll note that employment isn’t mentioned in the list. However, lurking in the notes is reference to a pledge that was made back in 2017. This was to reduce the disability employment gap by an increase of 1 million disabled people in work between 2017 and 2027.
I would therefore suggest that the term “opportunity and fulfilment” has a different meaning for the government and the vast majority of disabled people. And that to actually feel fulfilled it would appear that we have to be in gainful employment?
But what about those of us who are not able to work due to mental or physical impairment? And what about those employers who have no interest or intention of employing disabled people? OK, I know that there’s some lip service paid to setting out measures to encourage employers to play their role in retaining disabled people and people with health conditions in the workplace, but really?!
Call me an old cynic, but why can I still read between the lines of this new Tory strategy and see that the useless eaters of this competitive society are going to be thrown to the wolves yet again.