Access to Work: the scheme that brings in money.
Within hours of the Tory government winning the election, cuts to the Access to Work scheme, are reported in the Independent: Read article here.
This came as no surprise as we were aware of the governments intentions to cut the scheme when they refused to respond fully to the Work & Pensions Select Committee inquiry report in the lead up to the general election. The then Chair of the committee, Dame Anne Begg, wrote to the then Minister for Disabled people, Mark Harper, with regards to this issue to express the committees concern over the apparent dismissal of their findings. See the letters here.
The government have now issued their equality analysis, which whilst mentioning many of the issues raised in the injury, deals with none of them.
The government continues to state that there isn’t any money for the scheme. They have yet to disprove that Access to Work brings money into the treasury or publish any information or financial analysis. In Freedom of Information request responses received, it is confirmed that this information is held. We will continue to push for it’s release.
The overall DWP budget is around £5.2 billion. Access to Work as a percentage is not only insignificant, but ALL the money is recouped, yet still this government persist in stating that there is not adequate funding available.
That simply isn’t true.