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Ministers admit failure of disability scheme

MINISTERS were forced to issue a dire double confession yesterday over their predictably failed “attempts” to get disabled people off benefits and into work.

Disabled People’s Minister Mike Penning told MPs that he “could not guarantee” the independence of disabled people when the independent living fund is slammed shut in March 2015. 

The Tory came clean in a Westminster Hall debate over the future of the scheme that has helped 18,000 severely disabled people lead their own lives rather than being cared for in residential homes. 

His comments came on the day the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was forced to confess that their own work access scheme for disabled people is “out of date.”

Warwick University researchers revealed thousands of public bodies and private business awarded the “two ticks” symbol for ensuring equality for disabled workers are no better than those without the accreditation. 

The symbol is supposed to help disabled people identify potential workplaces.

But lead researcher Kim Hoque said it was nothing but an “empty shell” used by bosses for “impression management purposes.”

And a DWP spokesman admitted that the scheme is “outdated.”

He said: “We are seeking to reform the accreditation to make it a more dynamic and effective system.”

Professor Hoque said that left government plans to cut the benefits bill in tatters. 

“These plans are dependent upon employers being receptive to taking on disabled people in larger numbers, but our research has shown that the widespread adoption of the two ticks symbol is not indicative of this happening,” he said. 

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