Disability Minister deletes tweet on DWP’s £6m website – Disability News Service

The new Disability Minister has deleted a social media post in which she bragged about the millions of pounds spent on her department’s new disability employment website.

Claire Coutinho posted a tweet last week which included a video of her hosting a ‘new £6.4m online service’ which aims to provide employers with information on how to support people with disabilities on the workplace.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched an early version of the new ‘service’ on the same day last week, describing it as “a new £6.4 million online service to help employers better support people with disabilities and those with health concerns in the workplace”.

But when Disability News Service (DNS) tested the £6.4m Employee Health and Disability Service Supportit was simply a series of web pages offering advice to employers and managers in different situations.

DNS asked the DWP press office how a series of web pages with advice for employers could cost £6.4million.

Shortly after DNS contacted DWP’s press office about his comments, Coutinho (illustrated) deleted his tweet.

She had made her comments at the annual Disability Power 100 awards ceremony, organized by the charity Shaw Trust, which has DWP work contracts worth tens of millions of pounds a year and sponsors several schools specialized.

A DWP spokesperson confirmed yesterday that the £6.4million covered “design, development and maintenance of the website”.

It said in a statement: “The £6.4 million figure relates to an extensive program of work over a three-year period, to design, develop and maintain the Employee Health and Disability Support Service, an early and limited version of which has entered public testing.

“The service continues to be developed and expanded in response to feedback from small business users and expert stakeholders, with spending in areas including detailed research, digital construction, management and marketing costs.”

Meanwhile, new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith – who had been a strong supporter of her predecessor, Liz Truss – and replaced her with Mel Stride, who chaired the treasury select committee from January 2020 to date. the week.

Coutinho, who on several occasions tweeted his support for Sunak ahead of his confirmation as the new leader of the Conservative Party this week, appears to have retained his role as disability minister.

Despite only being in the job for a few weeks, Coutinho has already drawn criticism from people with disabilities for telling the DNS at his party’s annual conference that she was ‘unaware’ of the social model of disability and was therefore unable to say how it would impact her work as disability minister.

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Daniel L. Vasquez