Disabled Scots demand rights-based benefits system

Disabled protest

Jeane Freeman met with disabled people to hear their views 

22nd August 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Hundreds of disabled Scots met to tell Scotland’s social security minister they should be treated with dignity.

It comes as a delegation of disabled Scots gave evidence to the UN committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva, saying the UK government is routinely violating their rights through the welfare cuts agenda.

Social security minister Jeane Freeman met some 250 members of Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) at a conference in Glasgow to hear how the social security bill should work in practice.

Tressa Burke, founding member and chief executive of the organisation, said she was concerned about the erosion of disabled people’s rights at the hands of the UK government.

“Scotland has learned lessons from the brutal processes of Westminster and its horrendous welfare reform measures which have increased health inequalities and poorer life outcomes for disabled people," she said.  

“We must listen to disabled people who have been at the hard edge of cuts and have vital solutions to offer."

“We firmly believe that by working together we can do things differently and create a better future for Scotland’s people.”

Gemma Renwick, GDA member, added: “The UK systems treats you like a liar, a thief, a scrounger and they don’t believe you.

“We need a system which listens to us, upholds our right and treats us as experts – treats us as human beings – so we can contribute and be part of life in Scotland.”

Freeman said she was committed to building a rights-based social security system.

“We firmly believe that social security is an investment we all make in ourselves and in each other and that is very different to that of the UK government,” she said.

“Our top priority is that all 11 benefits are transferred to Scotland safely and securely so that people are paid the right amount, at the right time.”