Saturday, 21 January 2012

Letter from Maria Miller, 22/10/2010

I asked my MP (at the time, Heidi Alexander) to contact Maria Miller about the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review on disabled people, and the Early Day Motion 706 - Spending cuts and disabled people.

Maria Miller's reply was:


Dear Heidi,

Thank you for your letter of 23 September to the Secretary of State on behalf of Mr Misplaced Marbles regarding the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review on disabled people, and their support for EDM 706 - Spending cuts and disabled people. I have been asked to reply as the Minister for Disabled People.

This Government's approach is based on the key principles of fairness and ensuring disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else in society. This is an essential component of social justice that is at the heart of this Department's agenda.

We are very aware that disabled people use a wide range of mainstream public services designed and delivered across central and local government. It is therefore key to engage with disabled people, who can tell us about the overall effect of public policy and services on their lives. We know that increasing choice and control over the services disabled people use is important, and we will bear that in mind as we develop our strategy and policy.

In particular, the Department's policies and services have a major impact on the lives of disabled people. We want to ensure that everyone who wants to work gets the support that they need. We want to break down barriers that make it difficult for disabled people to find work, access goods and services or participate fully in community life.

We want the benefit system to provide robust and credible support to those who face the greatest barriers and cost. We are currently reviewing the best way to support disabled people to enter into and remain in employment.

In relation to the Spending Review, work is under way to develop equality impact assessments as part of the development of options and these will be made public in due course.

The Department of Work and Pensions undertakes an equality impact assessment on any changes to departmental policies and practices and to that end, it has a well established set of processes to help policy makers develop equality impact assessments based on a strong evidence base. This includes guidance on taking information gathered from consultation and involvement with disabled people into account.

I do hope that Mr (addressed this to someone else's name here!) will find this reply helpful.

Best wishes

Maria Miller

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