John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con):
I strongly support the initiative to help more people who are long-term sick and disabled into work where they wish to do that. My query is: why on earth is it going to take so long? We need to be doing this now, to ease our workplace shortages and to give those people earlier support and hope. Will my right hon. Friend please work with his officials to speed it all up?
Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions:
I share my right hon. Friend’s keenness to see these proposals—whatever may or may not emerge—come forward as soon as possible. They will require a lot of work on IT systems and changes to systems. The providers will have to incorporate the changes that may or not come forward as a result of this consultation. Let me reassure him that, given the benefits there will be to many people who will otherwise not benefit from work, I am as anxious as he is to make sure that we move forward at speed.