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Posted on 22 March 2012 at 14:36 GMT

Government accepts bankrolling RBS but not Remploy

There was more clarity last week on the issues that surround the Con-Dems' proposal to end supported employment in Remploy.

There were no surprises but the genie was out of the bottle as far as the motives are concerned, for this brutal act of state vindictiveness against disabled workers.

In a meeting with representatives from the TUC and the Remploy trade union consortium, government minister Maria Miller said:

"The government policy is not to subsidise outdated and loss-making factories; it is also government's policy for there to be choice, but this is a choice that we cannot afford."!

Showing all the humanity of a robot, she emphasised several times that the funding would end in two stages; the first stage being the closure of the first 36 factories and the second stage being the closure of the remaining 18 factories.

When it was pointed out to her that the figures she was using were out of date and that Remploy's factory costs were 50 million, 18 million less than she quoted and that income was 116 million, 12 million up on the 104 million she quoted, she dismissed the argument saying it was immaterial.

The government is Condemned (pardon the pun) by its own lips, this is an ideological attack on Remploy factories, backed up and supported by Liz Sayce and her cronies in the charities who see a very nice little earner for themselves as they seek to promote their own particular brands of back-to-work specialist provision subsidised by us the taxpayer.

The other main strand of their argument is cost. Of course it is totally unreasonable on the part of the workers to expect the government to help disabled workers stay in work, be productive and economically active whilst there are a lot more deserving cases of millionaire bankers whose bonuses are in jeopardy to think of! It's acceptable to bankroll RBS but not Remploy.

This shows that this is all about cuts, savings and austerity and nothing about helping get more disabled workers into work.

The statutory ninety days starts ticking on Monday 19th March, but one thing is guaranteed, we will not leave our factories to close without one heck of a fight.

It may be the last six months some of us may work, who knows, we can't guarantee a win, but it will be a hot and torrid six months that's for sure.

Les Woodward, Remploy trade union national convenor

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