The Government are committed to helping people and businesses as we fight through the economic downturn. Our priority is to support people back into work. In the hon. Gentleman’s own area of interest, the civil service is playing its part. For example, the Department for Work and Pensions is recruiting 6,000 more front-line staff in Jobcentre Plus.
I am grateful to the Minister for that answer. When he is looking at civil service recruitment, will he consider the fact that every Government Department pays its disabled employees less than its non-disabled employees? The Home Office, which is the worst offender, pays disabled employees a third less than their non-disabled counterparts. Will he take action to stamp out that discrimination?
As I say, I know that the hon. Gentleman has a personal interest in this area. The record on recruitment for civil servants with disabilities is a good one. We have doubled the number of civil servants claiming to be disabled since 2001. I understand the hon. Gentleman’s point and I will take a look at it.
My hon. Friend will be aware that civil and public service workers are just as concerned about their jobs as those in the private sector. Can he assure the House that he will continue to invest in the public services of this country and will not pander to the millionaires’ club who would cut inheritance tax?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We will not pursue policies that benefit the few, not the many. Indeed, this month the Conservatives committed to removing the equivalent of 3,400 police officers from the Home Office budget, taking away £3 billion-worth of critical infrastructure investment that supports our workers through difficult times, and slashing the budget of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, which would threaten apprenticeships. There is only one minute to go until the end of April fools’ day, but the real tragedy is that the Conservatives are serious about that.