If a government cannot afford to give dignity to disabled people in our society, then it cannot and should not have respect.
Westminster’s attacks on welfare – driven by their ideological pursuit of austerity, not by compassion or even common sense – threaten serious and lasting harm to some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland and across the UK.
Where we have the powers and the means to do so, the SNP has and always will, seek to mitigate Tory austerity.
And today we set out our compact with disabled people across Scotland, pledging that social security in Scotland will have dignity and respect at its core.
With the transfer of powers over disability benefits to Scotland from 2018, the Scottish Government can go further than mitigating the worst excesses of George Osborne’s cuts and the Tories’ disgusting treatment of disabled people. We can chart an entirely new course.
A re-elected SNP Government’s approach will be about positive actions, not negative cuts. We pledge that we will:
· Treat everyone with fairness, respect and dignity
· Abolish the bedroom tax and increase Carers’ Allowance
· Continue the £52m Independent Living Fund – scrapped by the Tories
· Support disabled people into employment with a £20m fund
· Maintain – not cut – disability benefits when they are devolved to Scotland.
And we will always stand up for those with disabilities by opposing Tory tax cuts for the rich funded by attacks on disability benefits.
With further transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament, this election is the most important since devolution. We need to elect a government which will use the new powers wisely.
By casting both votes for the SNP on May 5th, we can give those with disabilities in Scotland the support that is required and begin to restore dignity and respect to our social security system.