A LABOUR shadow minister has slammed the country's 'dehumanising' social security system during a visit to the city.

Debbie Abrahams, shadow work and pensions secretary, wants to transform the system and change attitudes towards disabled people.

Ms Abrahams spoke about disability equality at a meeting in Deaf Direct, in Lowesmoor, Worcester, today (July 13).

She said: "We want to change and transform how social security is delivered.

"The system is really dehumanising. It's such an ordeal that it's adding to people's problems, not taking away from it.

"We need a completely different culture that gets away from the dehumanising approach. We would change the culture to one that would value people."

Ms Abrahams also heard about cases of discrimination against disabled people during her visit.

She said she hopes to change the controversial Personal Independence Payment system, which covers extra costs for disabled people.

"We want a more holistic approach, looking at the whole person's needs in a supportive way," she said.

"It's nonsense we have professionals making assessments who have no expertise in a medical condition."

Speaking about the drop in unemployment figures in June, Ms Abrahams said it did not reflect the 'whole picture'.

"We have a labour market which has seen a rise of precarious work, 10 million people are now in precarious work," she said.

"There's a disability employment gap of 30 per cent from non-disabled people to disabled, that's massive."

She added that the Government had 'quietly dropped' its 2015 manifesto pledge to halve that employment gap.

Cllr Joy Squires, who was also at the meeting, said: "To hear your views on what needs to change was incredibly powerful.

"The common theme is how specialist support has been cut. The starting point has to be recognising that these are serious needs people have.

"We as a society should want to make sure that anyone with a disability has a decent quality of life.

"If that's the starting point, resources flow from that."