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Philip Hammond, Why Blame the Disabled?
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Productivity fell this year between March and June by 0.1 per cent despite people working for longer hours, theĀ ONS found. Chancellor Philip Hammond had this to say;

“It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including far higher levels of participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example of disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements.”

The important bit;

“may have had an impact”

This reads as something of a backhanded compliment. What does “may” even mean? Philip Hammond’s statement reads as a criticism of people with disability. The kind of prejudice and discrimination that we at appa have been helping to fight for over a decade. An argument that has been disproved by disabled workers and disabled heads of industry.

“Any worker who is dedicated is an asset to a business, disability or not”

Kyla Aitken, Director at appa me Ltd

A 0.1% drop is just barely more than background noise in statistics like this. It was a hot summer, European workers were already starting to leave the UK after the Brexit vote. In that same period Article 50 was invoked leading the UK to Brexit. We had an election. There were protest marches in London abut the hardships brought on by years austerity and Hammond wants to pin that 0.1% on people with disabilities.

Productivity in the UK is eclipsed by the Germans, French and the USA by way more than 0.1% .
graph of national productivity
“…may…” is a pathetic scapegoating of people with disabilities and has no basis in fact. The UK economy is suffering from massive systematic and economic pressures. It is the government’s responsibility to deal with this. People with disabilities are in fact a sorely untapped resource to strengthen and grow the economy. This statement by Philip Hammond contemptible.
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