|Bob Doris MSP|
There has been a lot of discussion in the media this week about the UK governments “Workfare” scheme. A number of high profile participants have pulled out in the face of public criticism and boycott threats. The SNP back Inclusion Scotland in condemning the UK Government’s proposed Workfare Scheme for disabled people as a farce.
I completely share Bob Doris SNP MSP for Glasgow’s disgust that The DWP is currently considering proposals to force long term sick and disabled people to work unpaid or have their benefits cut.
Mr Doris said:
“If the UK Government press on with plans to compel terminally ill cancer patients and those with disabilities and mental health issues into long term compulsory unpaid work or to lose benefits is simply unacceptable.
“For the DWP to call this an ‘incentive’ is simply farcical and like so much of its welfare reforms the UK Government need to think again before significant and long term damage is done to many of Scotland’s most vulnerable groups.
“If work and pensions were devolved to the Scottish Parliament we would be able to have a system based on fairness that meets the needs and demands of everyone in Scotland including the most needy and sick people who are limited in their ability to work.”
Inclusion Scotland’s Chief Executive, Bill Scott, said:
“Disabled people fought for their freedom and most of the old institutions have now been closed. But it seems as though even though we are now allowed to live amongst the non-disabled we are still to be forced to work for nothing as a penalty for being different.
“I thought that slavery had ended over 200 years ago but forcing anyone to work for nothing is just that. We also have real fears that this could damage some people’s health – particularly those with mental health issues and variable conditions like Multiple Sclerosis”.
The current benefits system is complex and definitely in need of review, however current proposals from the Tory and Liberal Democrat UK government are nothing short of a full frontal and frankly sickening attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.