date: 9 December 2010
embargo: For immediate release
Responding to the Life Opportunities Survey published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today (Thursday) TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'The government must take this report very seriously. It confirms that disabled people are excluded from jobs not through any failings of their own, but because of the barriers they face in getting work.
'Far from being the 'scroungers' portrayed by some parts of the media, the great majority of disabled people who are out of work are prevented from working because of their condition, a lack of accessible and suitable transport, and the absence of decent job opportunities.
'The price disabled people and their families are paying is a life in poverty. Ministers need to focus on removing the barriers that prevent equal access to work, not on slashing the benefits system and making disabled people even poorer.'
The TUC is concerned the report reveals that:
- more than twice as many disabled people (56 per cent compared to 26 per cent of non-disabled people) are restricted in their access to paid employment;
- the educational opportunities of nearly twice as many disabled people are restricted compared to those without disabilities (17 per cent against 9 per cent);
- twice as many adults with impairments are limited in the work they can do due to a lack of job opportunities; and,
- problems with inappropriate and inaccessible transport prevent nearly one in three (31 per cent) disabled people finding work.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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Issued: 9 December, 2010