Philip Hammond shamefully claims UK productivity rates low because more disabled people are in work

Politics and Insights

Philip Hammond has been roundly criticised following comments he made to the Treasury Select Committee, after he seemed to suggest that falling productivity rates in the UK workforce was due to more disabled people being in work.

Giving evidence to the Commons Treasury Select Committee concerning the Budget, the Chancellor said: “It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including far higher levels of participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example of disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements.”

“It may have collateral impact on measured productivity performance”, he added.

These comments betray a political mindset that is underpinned by the idea that disabled people are somehow a ‘burden’ on the economy, either in work or out of it. Conservative ministers such as David…

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