Since 2010, more than 3 million more people have found employment. The employment rate is close to the record high, while the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 1975.
In addition to those almost record employment levels, 11% of people in Cheadle are self-employed. My constituent Alexandra Singer is a self-employed wheelchair user who finds that valuable opportunities to attend networking events are lost because they are not always accessible for disabled people. Does the Minister agree that to unlock the talent and energy of disabled entrepreneurs, organisers must make provision for successful businessmen and women, such as Alexandra Singer, to attend their events?
I agree with my hon. Friend on that. It is right that service providers have a duty to anticipate these things and provide adjustments, where reasonable, for disabled people. In the case of her constituent, this may include arranging events at an accessible venue. It is also worth pointing out that one in five of those taking up the new enterprise allowance, which is designed to help people set up businesses, are disabled people.
Every new job is welcome, but we have a country where 55% of people new into work are in receipt of benefits and living in poverty and where the better-off are now disgustingly well-paid. What are the Government really going to do about this?
Of course the highest earning 1% pay a bigger proportion of income tax than they ever have done before. I am also pleased to say that our Government have substantially increased the personal allowance; we have introduced the national living wage; and the support that universal credit is going to provide will help more and more people progress in work.