Scotland’s disability benefits system should be based on dignity and respect according to Paul Wheelhouse, the SNP’s candidate for the Ettrick Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency at next month’s Holyrood elections.
Paul believes that many of the 3,500 disabled people in the constituency who rely on Incapacity Benefit and ESA have had to endure intimidation and often cruel and heartless treatment from the Westminster Tory Government whose only motive has been to save money at the expense of the vulnerable while letting those who caused the financial crisis off the hook.
But when benefits are devolved to the Scottish Parliament under The Scotland Bill there will be an opportunity to redress the balance and end years of degrading treatment of the disabled by the Conservatives.
Long-term awards will also be introduced for long-term conditions to reflect the fact for many conditions there is no justification for continually dragging people in to prove they are still living with a condition that is known to be incurable or which will get progressively worse rather than better.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “The SNP has promised to set up a new Social Security Agency in Scotland, and our manifesto sets out what that will mean to disabled people here in the Borders and the rest of Scotland.
“We will make sure disability benefits remain universal and are not means tested - to treat people with dignity and respect. Benefit fraud can be an issue, and needs to be tackled, but the UK Government are harming vulnerable people too often. I know of an amputee who was forced to undergo an assessment - that is both plain daft and degrading.
“This issue is crucial for all those who live with a disability day in and day out.”