How is the SNP supporting people with disabilities?
The SNP are mitigating the effect of Westminster’s damaging welfare reforms, which disproportionately affect and undermine the human rights of disabled people. We have established the Scottish Independent Living Fund, which provides support for over 2,800 disabled people across the country. We are protecting the Disabled Students Allowance from Tory cuts, and recognising British Sign Language as a language. We will also implement a new Framework for Families with Disabled Children so that our children get the right support from birth to adulthood.
With new powers over disability benefits coming to the Scottish Parliament, we will establish a Scottish social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart. We will maintain disability benefits, not cut them and ensure they remain universal, not means tested. We will also reform the disability benefit assessment process to ensure they work for service users and set clear timescales for conducting them and making decisions.
At Westminster SNP MPs will urge the UK government to follow the lead of the Scottish Government to review Personal Independence Payments, ensuring assessments, descriptors and award times are appropriate and rooted in respect and dignity. We will also call for the current work Capability Assessments to be halted, and a new system to be put in place which treats everyone with fairness and respect. And we will support reversal of the £29 per week cut to Employment Support Allowance, which supports ill or disabled people with financial support if they’re unable to work, or personalised support so they can work.
More action needs to be taken to address the gender, race and disability pay gap and tackle pay inequality and occupational segregation. That's why we will support extension of pay gap reporting to cover gender race and disability.
We know disabled people often find it difficult to access elected offices due to the many barriers that exist and the additional cost of being disabled can be one of them, but it is vital for society that all our groups are represented in politics and elected offices at all levels. The Scottish Government has committed funding aimed at encouraging more disabled people to participate in politics. And SNP MPs at Westminster will work to ensure there is as much support as possible for disabled people to stand for election to the House of Commons too.
SNP MPs will call for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be incorporated in UK law.