The SNP is committed to tackling inequality for disabled people and ensuring that everyone has the chance to reach their potential.
In 2016 the Scottish Government set a Delivery Plan to ensure that all disabled people can realise their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. And at Westminster, SNP MPs will call for the UN Convention to be incorporated in UK law.
Our delivery plan sets out the action we will take to halve the employment gap between disabled people and the rest of the working age population. Using new powers, we’re supporting disabled people, and those furthest removed from work, into work through Fair Start Scotland. Read more about how we’re supporting disabled people into work here.
We are also working towards ensuring disabled people in Scotland to have access to homes built or adapted to enable them to participate as full and equal citizens. As part of our commitment to deliver 50,000 affordable homes in this Parliament, we will ensure that wherever possible the new homes comply with essential aspects of ‘Housing for Varying Needs’. Disabled people with a housing need also have priority access to the LIFT scheme that helps people onto the housing ladder.
The SNP government is protecting the incomes of disabled people by mitigating the impact of Westminster’s damaging welfare reforms. This has included the establishment of the Scottish Independent Living Fund, which now provides support for over 2,600 disabled people across the country. We have also fully mitigated the Bedroom Tax, which would have disproportionately affected disabled people.
With new powers over disability benefits coming to the Scottish Parliament, we have established a Scottish social security agency – Social Security Scotland – 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. We have also confirmed that disability assessments will be carried out in the public sector by Social Security Scotland.
We also 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. That’s why the Scottish Government has committed funding aimed at encouraging more disabled people to participate in politics.