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Patricia Gibson MP has slammed the UK Tory Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for “drastically failing” disabled people, following Channel 4’s latest Dispatches episode titled ‘The Truth About Disability Benefits’.

The programme investigated a series of deaths, including suicide, by disabled benefit claimants and examined how the failings by the DWP may have contributed.

It follows on from the Tories removing the £20 Universal Credit uplift to those on legacy benefits, before eventually scrapping it altogether in October.

That decision, coupled with a Brexit fuelled cost-of-living crisis, has left 78% of disabled claimants in a worse financial position than before the pandemic, with many forced to skip meals, fall behind on rent, or miss vital medical appointments.

In contrast, the SNP Government will investing £360 million to provide vital additional support for low-income families, carers, and disabled people.

The SNP Government also introduced the Child Winter Heating Assistance which will this year support the families of over 19,000 severely disabled children and young people with a £200 annual payment to help with winter fuel costs.

Commenting, Patricia said:

“Dispatches has confirmed what we already knew: the Tories are drastically failing disabled people in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Scotland has suffered a decade of Tory welfare cuts and benefit sanctions, directly hammering those most vulnerable in our society. This is despite not voting for a Conservative government since the 1950s.

“However, what the SNP Government has managed to achieve, despite limited powers, has given us a small insight into the prospect of an independent Scotland.

“By investing in social security and introducing eleven benefits – seven of them new and unique to Scotland – including the Child Winter Heating Assistance and the Scottish Child Payment which will be doubled to £20 per week per child from April, the SNP continues to put money into people’s pocket after the Tories have taken it out.

“Time and again, the people of Scotland have voted in favour of a fairer, more prosperous society. The Westminster system does not provide that nor does it provide for people with disabilities.

“The only way for Scotland to finally rid itself of Westminster is to become an independent nation.”

See Disability Benefits Consortium

Scottish Budget 2022-23


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