Ministers accused of dishonesty over disability cuts

The government will be accused on Wednesday of being “fundamentally dishonest” about its policies towards disabled people.

The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, will tell a conference that workers with disabilities are being hit more than other groups by the coalition’s austerity cuts.

At the Disabled Workers Conference he will say: “No group of people is more affected by the government’s savage, ideological austerity than disabled workers. It’s no exaggeration to say that when it comes to disability, there is a fundamental dishonesty about government policy.

“The coalition is keen to promote the language of fairness and is keen to stress the opportunities available to disabled people, but the truth could not be more different. Nowhere is the dichotomy between rhetoric and reality starker than when it comes to benefits – a lifeline for so many disabled people.

“As the rightwing press peddles its demeaning myths about workshy scroungers, the government is slashing £17bn from the welfare budget. It is the poorest and most disadvantaged people who are suffering the consequences.”

Barber will say that the government’s welfare reforms are causing “immense damage”.

Dozens of disabled workers facing redundancy because of the closure of Remploy factories pitch tents on Tuesday outside the offices of the charity Disability Rights UK in London in protest at possible job losses.

Unions have accused the government of planning to close all 54 Remploy sites, with the loss of 2,800 disabled workers’ jobs.