Daily Express

Minister for disabled delay angers charities

- By Emily Braeger Consumer Editor

ANGRY charities are waiting for a minister for disabled people to be appointed, amid fears the “vital” role had been quietly scrapped by the Government.

And the Daily Express is backing their calls to fill the vacant post as soon as possible.

The position within the Department for Work and Pensions had been held by Tory MP Tom Pursglove since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister in October last year.


But last week he was moved to the Home Office to be minister for legal migration after Robert Jenrick’s resignatio­n forced a mini-reshuffle.

The DWP had said it had “no update” when asked about the role. However, yesterday the department confirmed that a new minister will be appointed “imminently”.

Disability charities were outraged that no replacemen­t was announced, at a time when disabled people are struggling more than ever.

James Taylor, director of strategy at Scope, said: “This is the longest gap without a minister for disabled people in the last 30 years.

“What kind of message does that send to Britain’s 16 million disabled people?

“Does the Prime Minister think it’s acceptable to keep this post vacant?”

He added: “We need this position to be a champion of disabled people and disability, and make sure policy doesn’t leave disabled people behind and disadvanta­ged.

“Life costs more if you are disabled. We are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. There hasn’t been a cost-of-living payment for disabled people this winter. And negative welfare rhetoric has ramped up.” Scope’s Disability Price Tag report revealed disabled households with at least one disabled adult or child, face huge average extra costs of £975 a month. That soars to £1,248 a month for households with two disabled adults and two children or more. Sarah White, head of policy at Sense, said: “The Minister for Disabled People has a vital role to ensure their interests are represente­d. At a time when disabled people are in crisis, this role should not be vacant. Disabled people can’t afford to wait any longer for financial support.”


Anna Bird, chief executive of disability charity Contact, said: “Sadly the failure to appoint a Minister for Disabled People shows where the Government’s priorities currently lie.

“It’s not the first time the position has been left unfilled and there have been six different disability ministers since 2016. It’s frustratin­g and leads to disabled children and their families feeling forgotten and ignored.

“We need leadership in government to prioritise help and support for those who need it most.”

 ?? ?? Concern... Sarah and James
Concern... Sarah and James

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