Benefits assessments under the UK Conservative Government are often cruel, humiliating and unnecessary, with the new disability benefits system leaving thousands of disabled people in Scotland without support and at risk of poverty. It’s vital that Scotland takes a different approach now that it has some new powers.
We have worked to overhaul the benefits system in Scotland, and to bring an end to repeated stressful and undignified assessments that treats claimants as guilty until proven innocent.
Green MSP Alison Johnstone amended the Social Security Bill so people will be saved from being put through these checks.
We outlawed face-to-face assessments that take place when evidence is already available, and gave applicants greater say on where assessments are done, preventing some people taking 100+ mile round trips. Face-to-face assessments that are needed must be audio recorded, so there is an independent account. The Scottish Social Security system will now include a principle that social security should reduce poverty.
It’s a national scandal that any citizens on benefits still cannot afford to eat. Scottish Greens will keep fighting for reform and devolution of new social security powers to ensure no one is left without income and destitute.