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British minister slammed for saying disabled staff lower productivity

Europe
07.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - Disability rights groups slammed Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on Thursday after he partly blamed people with disabilities for Britain‘s low productivity.

Hammond told a parliamentary committee that "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."

Disability Rights UK said Hammond‘s comment had "caused outrage amongst disabled people."

"This is an extraordinary comment to make and an insult to the hundreds of thousands of hard working disabled people," said Kamran Mallick, the group‘s chief executive.

"He has given the green light to the erroneous view of many employers that it is not worth employing disabled people because they are less productive," Mallick said.

"There is no evidence to support this view."

Ismail Kaji of learning disability charity Mencap said Hammond‘s comment was "very discriminatory to disabled people."

"For him to suggest any minority group is hurting the economy is not acceptable for someone in his position," Kaji said.

Mark Atkinson, head of disability charity Scope, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May complaining that Hammond‘s "derogatory comments" would harm disabled people‘s job prospects.

"We have called on the chancellor to apologize and retract his factually inaccurate and incredibly harmful accusation and we hope that you will support the 13.3 million disabled people in the country by doing likewise," Atkinson told May.

 

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