The Scottish National Party (SNP) has called in its manifesto for reform of the government’s new out-of-work disability benefit.
In a manifesto with few disability policies but several around older people, the SNP said it would call for reform to the “hugely problematic” employment and support allowance.
The manifesto said the SNP would also call for changes to the system of cold weather payments – which are available to many disabled people on low incomes to help pay heating bills during periods of extreme cold weather – so that it “more closely reflects Scottish needs and circumstances and increases support for individuals in Scotland”.
And it said the benefits system “should be designed to provide incentives for work, rather than barriers to work”, be easier to access, and would “more closely meet Scottish needs and circumstances”.
The manifesto also pledges continued support for the concessionary travel scheme for older Scots and free personal care. Personal care is available without charge for everyone in Scotland aged 65 and over who has been assessed as needing it by their local council.
And the manifesto says there should be no new taxes or contributions, or changes to attendance allowance, introduced by the UK government to pay for reform of care for older people “down south”.
No-one from the SNP was able to provide further details on its disability policies this week.
SNP manifesto length: 32 pages
Mentions of the words “disabled”, “disability” and “disabilities”: 0
21 April 2010