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BDA response: Disability Minister boasts £3 million of Access to Work budget was UNSPENT

25 June 2015

The British Deaf Association welcomes the Government’s commitment to seeing more Deaf and disabled people in work with the help of Access to Work.

However, we have been shocked to learn of the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson’s recent comments that £3m of last year’s £100m Access to Work budget was unspent. 

David Buxton, BDA’s Director of Campaigns and Communications, said: “After many months of supporting Deaf individuals to get their Access to Work funding support back, we find it extremely concerning that there was money available that was not revealed to us in past meetings with the Department for Work and Pensions. We have worked hard in negotiations with senior DWP officials to ensure that Deaf people are properly supported in work, while being advised that there were restrictions on budget. This has caused great concern to Deaf people who are fighting for the same right to work and contribute to society just like everyone else. Having underspent the Access to Work budget makes a mockery of trying to get more Deaf and disabled people into the work place."

David Buxton will be meeting the Minister on 7 July to continue discussions around Deaf people’s access to a fair Access to Work scheme. The BDA wants to see an end to the fears and anxieties being suffered by Deaf professionals in the face of the proposed cap policy. The BDA opposes the cap and will continue to campaign for it to be removed.