Disabled challenge minister over job support boast

 

The minister in charge of closing Government-supported factories employing disabled staff publicly clashed with one of the staff being made redundant.

Esther McVey was challenged on live television as she defended the decision to shut most of Remploy's remaining plants and insisted workers were receiving specialist employment support.

But Talit Karim, who was made redundant from its Oldham factory this year, accused her of producing misleading figures, exaggerating the Government's success in finding them new jobs.

Ms McVey, minister for the disabled, announced on Thursday that the 875 employees of 15 Remploy factories were being made redundant because the operations were not viable. The cash used to subside them will be switched to helping the disabled into mainstream workplaces.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Ms McVey insisted her department had been giving "specialist support" to those made redundant and said the number of disabled people who had found work had quadrupled.

Referring to Oldham, she said 109 people with disabilities worked there, of whom 69 had come forward to ask for support and 19 landed new jobs.

But Mr Karim retorted: "I don't know where they get that idea from. There was 115 people when I worked at Remploy Oldham – I actually did the payroll, so I know. And talking to my colleagues on Facebook, she mentioned that about 19 people have got jobs, but I'd say that about five had, so that's untrue."

He said there were no jobs available so help to find work was "unnecessary" and added: "I am seeking help. I have asked for help but I can't find a job."

Ms McVey offered to speak to Mr Karim to see if he needed any support. Pressed to explain why the Government has protected the £320m budget for disability employment services while it was axing disabled people's jobs, she replied: "That is what we are spending to get people into work.

"And 2,200 people worked at the Remploy factories, but there's 6.9 million people of working age with disabilities and what we've got to do is look at what is fair and what is workable for all of those people."

The Department for Work and Pensions later clarified that the Oldham Remploy factory had employed 115 people, of whom 109 were disabled.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore