Our response to the Queen’s Speech

Responding to the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday 11 May 2021, our Director of Policy Gemma comments on the government’s various policy commitments.

Social care reform

On the topic of social care reform, Gemma Hope said: 

The government must not delay when it comes to delivering the reform to social care promised today, particularly in terms of overhauling social care for disabled people. Disabled people have already been treated as an afterthought during the pandemic with devastating results.

Disabled people made up almost two thirds of deaths involving coronavirus and as we move towards post-Covid recovery the next Parliament must now put disabled people's needs at the forefront by delivering on promises to reform social care.

“Over a third of care users are 18-64 year olds and, for many working-age disabled adults, care enables higher education, employment and a full participation in society. 

“Worryingly, our research found Covid-19 has impacted social care for over half the disabled people who receive it. As we emerge from the pandemic, we hope the government will add transforming the care system to its legacy.”

Employment legislation

On the need for measures to improve equal access to employment for disabled people, Gemma Hope said:

“The Employment Bill was a serious and disappointing omission in today’s speech. This means that we are still waiting for various measures to improve equal access to employment for disabled people. As we emerge from the pandemic and manage the economic recovery, we need to ensure that the ‘levelling-up’ agenda extends to disabled people in the workforce.

“We had seen some positive progress on disabled people’s economic inclusion before the pandemic, but the last year has threatened a serious reversal. 71% of disabled people who were employed in March 2020 report that their work has been impacted, including by loss of income and increased risk of redundancy.

“Failing to include the Employment Bill today means it falls to the Health and Disability Green Paper to deliver these measures – the Green Paper absolutely has to address employment when it appears.”

Foreign aid spending

On the pressing need to restore the United Kingdom’s foreign aid contributions to 0.7% of GDP (from 0.5% of GDP), Gemma Hope said: 

“This is a crucial year for ‘Global Britain’, and as such the government should no longer delay restoring our foreign aid contribution to 0.7% of GDP

“The world’s eyes will be on us as we host the G7 and COP26, and we will be in a position to lead by example in securing equal rights around the world.

Now is the time for us to renew our commitment to securing access to education, particularly for girls with disabilities. Our leadership here is vital in ensuring people with disabilities around the world have access to their basic human rights including work, education and social opportunities.”

Notes to editors

For further information please contact Samuel Buckley on: