“Why are these people so willing to be treated as unequal?”
That is the question that Philip Davies should have asked when a group of disabled people allegedly told him they’d be willing to take a job that paid them a lower wage than able bodied people. To any logical person the fact that people were so desperate for a job, for independence, that they would willing be treated as differently than others, is a clear signal that something is very, very wrong with the situation they’re in.
However, for Davies, this was an indication that it might be a good idea to suggest that mentally ill people, and those who are disabled and are unable to find employment, should be offered a lower wage by employers who could then see that the mentally ill person or the disabled person could do the job just as well as anyone else, and then offer them a pay rise to take them up to minimum wage, or an equal pay rate as their colleagues.
There’s just one flaw here. Such an idea not acceptable and it never will be. Ever.
The focus should be on why people are so desperate they’d willingly suggest being treated unequally, and the answer is that for some it is really difficult to find work, and with no work comes a declining sense of worth and independence and, to be frank, that sucks.
I am disabled, and when I tell people that they don’t believe me because my disability is not visible. I have about 55% hearing ability due to an internal ear injury. I work full time and I earn a decent enough wage and I work hard at what I do. However, not so long ago I was unemployed and this afternoon when I read what Davies had said, I was reminded of a time when I would spend most of my day looking for a job, and I had a terrible feeling that if Davies ludicrous plan for the disabled to be paid less came to be, I may have been forced into a job where I was treated as unequal until I could somehow prove that I was just as able as anyone else.
There are many people who are much worse off than I am who probably have many more expenses as a result of their illness or condition who cannot afford to accept less than minimum wage who would have no choice under such a scheme. This is in no way fair, it is verging on abusive.
“Given that some of those people with a learning disability clearly, by definition, can’t be as productive in their work as somebody who hasn’t got a disability of that nature, then it was inevitable that given that the employer was going to have to pay them both the same they were going to take on the person who was going to be more productive, less of a risk, and that was doing those people a huge disservice.”
I find the idea that an MP would suggest punishing the disadvantaged even more, rather than seeking out a solution that would help both the disadvantaged and, say, the employer who is reluctant to employ someone who may or may not be less productive as a result of their physical or mental disability, very worrying indeed.
This isn’t about left wing hysteria as Davies so arrogantly suggested via his twitter account, it’s about someone who should know how to ask the right questions failing to do so in the most horrendous manner, and failing so many people who may have given him the title of MP by doing so.
Shame on you, Philip Davies.