Linda Fabiani, SNP MSP for East Kilbride has expressed her disgust at comments from the new Scottish Tory Leader, Ruth Davidson, that she would welcome a return to taxes on the sick.
Ruth Davidson’s honeymoon period as leader of the Tories in Scotland came to an abrupt end on live TV when she was asked about the possible reintroduction of prescription charges in Scotland.
After efforts to evade the question Ms Davidson conceded that the Tories would bring back the tax on the sick which the SNP Government has abolished.
Linda said “The SNP abolished prescription charges to help family budgets and stop penalising people who suffer from ill-health.
“The Tories say we shouldn’t do this. They want to make the sick and the medium-low income families cough-up to get well.
“Ruth Davidson should try and explain that to the 600,000 Scots on incomes of only £16,000 who would be forced to pay for their medicine.
“The Tories might have a new face at the front their party but the people of Scotland know better than to fall for their old tricks.”
Linda has previously spoken about her concerns for how proposed reforms to welfare by the Conservative Lib Dem Coalition at Westminster will affect people in East Kilbride.
She 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, 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, as the UK Government proposes to do, can only push people into poverty.
“The new criteria attack 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, by increasing funding for fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes by a record 35%, to £66.25 million by 2015. 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.”