Disabled people convene at TUC to discuss coalition policies

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date: 18 May 2010

embargo: 00.01hrs Wednesday 19 May 2010

More than 200 delegates will come together at the TUC's annual disability conference in London today (Wednesday) to discuss the potential impact of the new Government on disabled people.

Job losses during the recession have so far not impacted disproportionately on disabled people, however a higher proportion of disabled people work in the public sector than the private sector.

The TUC is concerned that coalition plans to slash public spending may lead to increased unemployment for disabled people, and that the progress disabled people have made getting into decent employment will be put into reverse.

Unions are also concerned that the coalition Government may make it even harder for disabled people to obtain adequate welfare benefits through imposing unfair requirements to take any job, at a time when they are fewer jobs to apply for and employers continue to discriminate against disabled job applicants, says the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'This new Government comes to power at a very difficult time for the economy, but this inconclusive election has not provided a mandate for swingeing cuts in public services which could see many disabled workers lose their jobs.

'We hope the new Government will do everything they can to continue to support disabled people and give them access to decent work and equal treatment.'

Speakers at the two-day conference include TUC Assistant General Secretary Kay Carberry, Director of the Office for Disability Issues Tim Cooper and Chair of the Disability Committee at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Mike Smith.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The TUC disability conference is from 11am on Wednesday 19 May until 5.30pm on Thursday 20 May, at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. For more information please contact Peter Purton on ppurton@tuc.org.uk or 020 7467 1271.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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