Wednesday, 27 April 2016 06:39

ROBERTSON promises “dignity and respect” for disabled people

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Dumbarton SNP candidate, Gail Robertson, has branded the Westminster Government’s treatment of disabled people “a disgrace”, and pledged that a re-elected SNP Government will bring about “a whole new era” for people living with disability, by building a social security system based around “dignity and respect.”

The SNP plan to use increased powers for the Scottish Parliament to establish a new Social Security Agency to administer and deliver benefits devolved under the Scotland Act.

Miss Robertson welcomed pledges in the SNP manifesto to:

  • Set clear timescales for conducting assessments and making decisions in respect of the benefits being devolved.

  • Ensure a transparent and accessible appeals process - with guaranteed timescales for decisions - and ensure that all claimants can access information on how to appeal.

  • Ensure disability benefits remain universal and not means tested.

  • Reform assessment procedures to ensure they work for service users, and stop the revolving door of assessments and related stress and anxiety for those with long-term illnesses, disabilities or conditions.

  • Introduce long-term awards for existing long-term conditions that are unlikely to change, and ensure people get the right level of award as time goes on.

The SNP’s approach to a fairer system will be guided by a new Disability Benefits Assessment Commission, which will provide recommendations and guidance on how often assessments should be, what conditions should be given on automatic or lifetimes awards, and eligibility criteria.

gailscarfMiss Robertson said:

“The Tories’ whole approach has been to stigmatize and intimidate some of our most vulnerable people. Their only guiding principle has been to save money.

“By contrast, the SNP Government’s guiding principles will be dignity and respect – using the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament to create a fairer system.

“This is the right way for a government to treat its citizens, and by re-electing the SNP on May 5th, the people of Scotland can choose to start a whole new era for people living with disability.”