While the UK Tory Government continues to display a lack of regard for anyone who is differently abled, a re-elected SNP Government will:
1. Almost double the planned investment in the Parental Employability Support Fund to £15 million in the next two years to help support disabled parents into good, secure jobs. An SNP Government will also put programmes in place to help empower disabled people who wish to work in public life and in leadership positions.
2. Increase the supply and choice of accessible and adapted homes - which Kenneth Gibson secured support for in the 2019 Planning (Scotland) Act - and introduce a new Scottish Accessible Homes Standard which all new homes must achieve. This would embed a person-centred approach that aligns housing support with social care services, so people have choices and flexibility to live independently.
3. Continue to build Scotland’s social security system with efficient, fair and long-term benefits to support those with disabilities, such as Child Disability Payment later this year and Adult Disability Payment.
4. Improve the transport accessibility through the continuing roll-out of the Transport Act. And while rail accessibility is reserved to the UK Government, we remain committed to improving access at stations.
5. Continue to protect over 70,000 households by fully mitigating the Tory Government’s ‘Bedroom Tax’, which disproportionately impacts disabled people. It is estimated that in 2020/21 alone, the SNP Government paid the £1,961,221 that vulnerable households across North Ayrshire would have had find if it were up to the Tories.
6. Bring forward a Learning Disability, Autism, and Neurodiversity Bill to delineate support and services from existing mental health legislation and ensure that human rights are protected and promoted; and install a Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodiversity Commissioner after implementation.
7. Award a double payment of Carers Allowance Supplement this year, worth £460, in recognition of the extra burden the pandemic has placed on carers. A re-elected SNP Government will also introduce an improved Carers Assistance payment to replace Carers Allowance, paying a further £10 per week to those who are caring for more than one disabled person, and increase the period of benefit payments when a carer loses someone they have cared for from 8 weeks to 12 weeks.
You will have noticed a pattern in which UK Tory Government creates horrendously unfair policies, which the SNP Government then mitigates because it is the right thing to do, after which the Tories accuse the SNP Government of not spending enough on devolved matters. They are playing political games with people’s lives and in the SNP we believe Scotland doesn’t have to be subjected to that. We just want to build a fairer Scotland for people of any ability. Tomorrow, Thursday, 06 May, we have an opportunity to re-elect an SNP Government that cares about equality, fairness, and helping people who have disabilities thrive. In order to do that, we need to ensure we elected as many SNP MSPs as possible – by making it #BothVotesSNP. ENDS