Yesterday the Chancellor Philip Hammond suggested that a higher number of disabled people in the workforce has played a part in the “sluggish productivity in Britain’s economy”.
Debbie, from Scope’s helpline, who works with thousands of disabled people and their families every year, has this to say about his comments:
I first saw Philip Hammond’s comments yesterday, after spending the day doing training with the Samaritans on how to deal with suicidal callers.
This training has become necessary for our helpline.
We deal with calls and queries from sick and disabled people in deep distress every day.
Many times, we’ve exercised our duty of care by alerting the authorities of serious welfare concerns.
We’ve called the police, we’ve called ambulances, and had many conversations with safeguarding teams at local authorities across the country.
To see such derogatory comments made in this day and age sparked an anger inside me and many of my Scope colleagues.
I’ve worked in front-line advice for 10 years, and the past four years has been the most challenging and difficult time I’ve ever known.
For me, these comments are a new and massive blow to disabled people.