The minister's comments about disabled people not being "worth" the minimum wage show a lack of understanding of the true value of labourby Lucy Webster / October 15, 2014 / Leave a comment
“Lord Freud should resign. In suggesting that disabled people are “not worth” the minimum wage, he has shown an apparent lack of understanding which does not befit his role as welfare minister. And if he doesn’t go quietly, he should be pushed.”
A law on the minimum wage is a law like any other; we cannot pick and choose who they apply to. In suggesting that we can, Lord Freud is creating a slippery slope towards legally sanctioned discrimination of all kinds—reverting to a time we had all thought firmly in the past. Anyone with an interest in equality and the rule of law, or who values the concept of justice, should be appalled by what we have heard and should put pressure on the government to eject this relic of the 1950s.
According to the Tory minister, my labour and time are worth £2 an hour. Even when I earn a bachelor’s degree from Warwick in two years’ time, I apparently will not see an increase in my earning power, because I will still use a wheelchair. If I agreed with Lord Freud, I would be dropping out tomorrow, and you could forget that master’s degree I’ve been planning. But I don’t agree with him, because, put frankly, he is wrong, and so I will be staying right where I am.