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Calls for Welfare Minister to resign over comments about wages for disabled workers

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud has issued a "full and unreserved apology" after suggesting that some disabled people are "not worth" the minimum wage - but stopped short of resigning.

The Tory peer said he had been "foolish" in "accepting the premise" of a question posed to him during a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference last month.

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Adam Smith Institute defends Freud's comments

Think tank The Adam Smith Institute has defended Lord Freud's comments regarding disabled workers.

Sam Bowman, research director, said the Conservative welfare minister had been "shamefully mistreated" by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has called for Freud to resign after he suggested some disabled workers are "not worth" the full minimum wage.

Mr Bowman said: "His (Freud's) point was that the market value of some people’s wages is below the minimum wage. This is often true of the severely disabled and can have appalling consequences for their self-esteem and quality of life."

He added: "To point out that someone’s market value is less than minimum wage has nothing to do with their moral value as human beings.

"Freud’s point was that we should help people in this situation by allowing them to find jobs paying below the minimum wage and topping up their pay directly to make up the difference."

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