Commenting on the release of the Work and Health green paper today, Kirsty Mchugh, Chief Executive of ERSA, said:

“ We welcome the publication of today’s Work and Health Green Paper as a first vital step towards putting in place the strategies and support to halving the disability employment gap.  Unfortunately, this Green Paper is released against a backdrop of funding cuts to specialist employment support. 

Research we released last Monday found that planned resources for the Work and Health Programme means that it is likely that 45,000 fewer disabled people will access government-funded specialist employment support for each remaining year of this Parliament.  This makes little sense – economic modelling shows that the Treasury could gain £280 million from doubling the size of the Programme. 

“We believe that every disabled person who can and wants to work should have access to specialist support to do so, but the size of the new Work and Health Programme means that only one in eight disabled people are likely to have this option. The current government has the laudable ambition of halving the disability employment gap, but to do so, it must match its words with support for disabled people.”