Steve McCabe, the MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, has criticised the Government for making cuts to the Access to Work programme without knowing the full impact of the scheme on the economy.
McCabe, of the Labour party, has been challenging the Government’s changes, specifically the introduction of a cap on Access to Work support, in Parliament and has discovered that whilst these changes have been put forward to save money, the Government does not have figures on what the treasury recoups in tax from those who use Access to Work.
McCabe recently pressed the Government on what the Treasury makes in return from the programme but he was told that they did not collect figures on this.
However, the Department for Work and Pensions have estimated that by introducing a cap on Access to Work the Government will save £3 million per annum by 2018.
McCabe has questioned to logic of making savings cuts to Access to Work when the Government is unaware of how much it benefits financially from those who use the programme to stay in work and contribute to the economy.
Whilst these changes may save the Department for Work and Pensions money, he says it may be the case that the Treasury loses money in tax, so overall the Government would make a net loss.
McCabe has said that this simply does not make sense and the Government needs to base its decisions on better evidence. In an independent review commissioned by the Government in 2011, the Sayce Review suggested that for every £1 spend on Access to Work the Exchequer recoups £1.48. The total number of people helped from the scheme between 2007 and 2014 was 120,430 and just over 10% of claimants account for the highest level awards.
There is no like-for-like comparison for what the programme costs versus what it costs to pay out of work benefits and many Deaf people feel that it is becoming increasingly difficult to carry out their jobs effectively with reduced communication support as a result of the changes.
Steve McCabe said:
“It seems absurd that the Government is cutting a programme that keeps disabled people in work when it doesn’t know the impact of how much people contribute to the treasury, it’s a very funny way of managing the Access to Work budget.
“The Sayce review recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions should in the longer term significantly expand funding for Access to Work but it appears that this advice has been ignored. It’s the same Tory tactics, targeting the most vulnerable in our society, they say this will save £3 million per annum whilst the inheritance tax giveaway benefits less than 5% of estates and is expected to cost the Exchequer £940m by 2020-21.”
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Check out these captioning fails!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- Signature: Find out about the Signature conference here.
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Happy: Microsoft Office courses taught in BSL and SSE by a Deaf trainer – all abilities catered for
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children