Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has called on both the Scottish and UK Governments to do more to ensure that people with disabilities receive sufficient welfare benefits in order to live a dignified and fulfilled live.
She made her calls during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 12th November on welfare benefits for people living with disabilities.
The Tory-led coalition Government at Westminster’s welfare policies have been extremely controversial, attracting criticism from many disability rights charities regarding their impact on people with disabilities. Some households and individuals, notably sickness and disability claimants, are hit by several different elements of the reforms. Combined with the sanctioning of claimants and the subsequent delay in welfare payments, this has resulted in many people with disabilities being pushed into poverty and forced to rely on hand outs such as crisis grants, food banks, and financial assistance from friends and family.
Ms Mctaggart said “I was pleased to be able to contribute to this debate as this is an on-going matter which is of great concern to many of my constituents in Glasgow. As a society, we are responsible for looking out for those who are in need, including people with disabilities. In the past few years, the Tory government has done little to protect this group of people and has threatened their wellbeing in the name of budget cuts and new policies.
“The Scottish Government has yet to offer a comprehensive solution to fixing this issue. The most frequent suggestion for mending the broken welfare system is to simply have the powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This solution is simplistic and unworkable, as it would put an already strained system on shaky, un-tested, grounds. Simply waving the wand of devolution is not going to work here either.
“Instead, we should support the existence of the UK-wide welfare state where a social union exists and where we work together to protect the basic entitlements enjoyed by all British people.”
The Labour Party has made 5 pledges for disabled people:
- Scrap the bedroom tax
- Devolve control over the Work Programme to Scotland
- Transform the Work Capability Assessment
- Get a grip of the huge Personal Independent Payments backlog
- Make rights a reality for disabled people in Scotland