Remploy

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Has the hon. Lady any idea how arrogant and out of touch she sounds this afternoon? This is a shameless betrayal of thousands of disabled workers who have been in sheltered employment—not segregated employment, but sheltered employment—all their lives and will never find jobs when there are no jobs to be had in areas such as mine, where 10 people are chasing every job vacancy. How can she so cynically misrepresent the modernisation plan that I announced at the end of 2007—£555 million, dependent on Government-supported procurement and public sector-backed job opportunities? None of that has been put in place. It has not failed; it has not been allowed to succeed by this out-of-touch Government.

Maria Miller: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for coming in for today’s statement and for being able to participate in the statement process, because he more than anybody knows the very real dilemma that was faced under the previous Administration with Remploy, and I pay tribute to the work that he did to try to give Remploy an opportunity to get back on its feet. He will know that there are more than 12,000 disabled people in his constituency, and the Neath furniture factory will continue through the summer process, which I am sure he welcomes. I hope that he would want to ensure that more of those 12,000 people receive the sort of support that I know he feels can work.