During a treasury select committee held on Wednesday 6th December, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was quoted as implying that people with disabilities are at least partly to blame for the UK’s low economic productivity levels.
In response, Action on Hearing Loss’s Chief Executive Paul Breckell said: “We’re hugely disappointed that the Chancellor has made these comments. Our research shows that employer attitudes are the main barrier faced by people with deafness and hearing loss in the workplace, and Philip Hammond’s frankly insulting comments serve only to perpetuate this problem.
“Not only are his comments derogatory, but they are also fundamentally untrue. Lower absenteeism and better retention rates, achieved through providing support and accessible environments, increase the productivity of employees with disabilities and the value they have to their employers.
“It’s a bitter irony that the chancellor has blamed people with disabilities for the UK’s low productivity at a time when his Government is undermining the support that Access to Work provides to deaf people in the workplace, leaving many without essential communication support.”