FABIANI CONCERN OVER WELFARE REFORM

 Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has spoken about her concerns for how proposed reforms to welfare will affect disabled people in East Kilbride. 

Linda said “The Westminster Government are proposing some really worrying policies that will badly affect some of our most vulnerable people in society.  They do not take into account the different situation facing people in Scotland which is why I feel we should take full control over tax and benefits so we can better care for our own people.

“At the Scotland Bill Committee this week, we heard evidence from Citizens Advice Scotland who warned that the UK Government’s Welfare Reform Bill will strip £2bn from the Scottish economy and destroy the welfare system.

“I worry that people with disabilities will feel these reforms the hardest through re-assessment processes and cuts to support services.

“Removing 20% of spending on the Disability Living Allowance can only push people into poverty.  The new criteria proposed attacks the dignity of disabled people by not offering support for personal care unless an individual reaches a point of ‘self-neglect’.

“The Scottish Government has done what it can to reduce poverty suffered by vulnerable groups by increased funding for fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes by a record 35 % to £66.25 million by 2015 and they have also announced an extra £5 million for the Energy Assistance Package to help through the winter months.

“Although this will help many people, especially over the winter, only with control over tax and benefits can we ensure we have a system which looks after our people in a compassionate and dignified way.”

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