Charities Attacking Freud Backed Same Plans Under Labour

Guido has found more from Mencap on whether or not some disabled people should be exempt from the minimum wage. Here they are in February 2000 once again backing the very idea Lord Freud has got in so much trouble over:

“The minimum wage has helped many people with learning disabilities. But people who have severe learning disabilities are also employed, even though they may have a productivity rate of 30% of the average. An employer may say that they will pay someone £15 a week for doing 15 hours work – and generally everyone is happy with this. The person with learning disabilities isn’t excluded from a working environment, and gets to go on works dos and generally join in with the team. And it’s good for the rest of the team too. Unfortunately, if employers have to pay the minimum wage, they may have to let these valuable members of their staff go.”

Under Labour, Mencap used to support the proposal. Yesterday Mencap described it as “disgusting”A cynic might say their condemnation of Lord Freud was political…

And what about Scope, another disability charity? They were consulted on the 2003 Labour government document backing a policy more draconian that what Freud proposed. Yesterday they said Freud’s comments were “unacceptable”. Surely a reaction completely unrelated to their patron being Cherie Blair, their trustees including former Labour adviser Agnes Fletcher and Brent Labour member Jacqui Penalver, and their Director of External Affairs Mark Atkinson being a former Labour candidate. Not like a charity to be overtly partisan…




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