Last Friday the MP for Shipley, Philip Davies made a statement which could cost him his job, making the comment that disabled people should be paid less than the minimum rage.
The backlash of this careless quote has caused uproar with leading charities and disabled people across the country.
Mr. Davies may have had good intentions; his statement backs his concern a percentage of people with mental health illnesses and disabilities do not have an equal chance in employment in comparison to somebody who is able bodied, but the way he approached the subject has shocked members of both parties (Conservatives and Labour) who have branded his beliefs as “absolutely outrageous” and “insulting”.
The MP said, “The people who are most disadvantaged by the national minimum wage are the most vulnerable in society. My concern about it is it prevents those people from being given the opportunity to get the first rung on the employment ladder.”
His speech may seem supportive towards those with special needs, but as a listener of a London radio station pointed out over the weekend, if you change the subject from disability to ethnic minority the MP would have come across as racist. Imagine a member of parliament suggesting a black person should be paid a minimum rage...They would lose their job from immediate effect, and many people believe Davies should resign.
The Conservative MP has upset members of his own party. A spokesman for the Conservatives said, Mr. Davies comments “do not reflect the views of the Conservative Party and do not reflect Government policy”.
Downing Street has released a statement saying,: “The Government would reject any suggestion for disabled people to be able to opt out of the national minimum wage.
“The aim of the national minimum wage is to establish fairness in the workplace and one of its key principles is to protect the most vulnerable workers.”
Leading UK charities including Scope and MIND have also added their anger over the MP’s careless remarks.
We strongly believe Mr. Davies should resign and are campaigning for charities, such as Scope and Mind, who do a remarkable job for disabled people, to campaign for the MP to lose his role as an MP.
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