DAA News Network

UK: Tories promise £1m to help disabled people into political office and the civil service

Posted 28/1-10 at 13.42

If they come to power in the forthcoming elections, the Conservative Party says they will create a fund to support disabled people who want to become MPs, local councilors or civil servants.The money will be spent to cover such things as adapting premises, sign language interpreters, specialised equipment, travel and support workers.

The £1m will be spread over four years. It will come from savings on what is now being spent by Equalities Office, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission's (EHRC) budget.

This move is part of the Tory Party's policy of making Parliament more reflective of the country as a whole. For example, 20% of the population is disabled, compared to only 5% of MPs .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jan/14/tories-plan-fund-disabled-people

Editorial comment: This move by the Tories is little more than an example of gesture politics - lots of self-congratulory noise, no substance. New money? There is no new money. The money will come, in part, by cutting funds to the EHRC, a body set up to promote equality for disabled people and other groups. It is highly questionable whether the EHRC can afford to do with a million less when at the moment it is not keeping up with the demand for support from disabled individuals. Finally, £250,000 a year is a derisory sum to cover support for all political offices, as well as employment in the civil service.

 

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