With 1 month to go till the referendum, grassroots group “Disabled People for Yes” urges disabled people and their supporters to vote Yes for a better future.
The idea for Disabled People for Yes grew out of the realisation that under the current Westminster government, 100,000 disabled and vulnerable people in Scotland are being victimised and their lives turned into a nightmarish fight for survival. After the next General Election, there is no sign this will change, regardless of who gets into power; indeed, Scottish Labour voted against an SNP motion on 14th August recognising the effects of welfare cuts on disabled people and other vulnerable groups. The Scottish Government has made clear that an immediate priority after a Yes vote would be to reverse the most damaging and counter-productive of the UK welfare changes. A vote for Scottish independence offers the hope of a country which values disabled people’s lives and abilities rather than making them scapegoats for the huge deficits run up during the banking crisis. The Facebook Page Disabled People for Yes already has over 1300 followers, as disabled people all over Scotland awaken to the fact that they are not alone in their hope for a better, fairer future. There is also a Twitter feed, @Disabled_foryes
Changes brought in by the current coalition include downgrading the amount of money a disabled person can receive to support them in daily life; the infamous bedroom tax and the removal of key resources like motability cars. This affects both people in work and those who are unable to work. Disabled and disadvantaged people all over the country are caught in a vicious circle of self-justification, uncertainty and decreasing control over their own futures. Sanctioning (stopping all benefits) is up 350% for such “crimes” as being late in attending a Job Centre advisory interview. These interviews are often changed or instigated at very short notice. Disabled people are being considered “Fit for Work” and then forced to participate in Workfare schemes or take zero hours contracts, which decrease their financial security and can make their health issues worse. Deprived of any means of support, people are forced to turn to food banks and payday lenders – and in the worst cases, suicide and death from malnutrition are the outcome.
An article by Disabled People for Yes was published on 18th August 2014 in The Herald highlighting the reasons disabled people are turning to yes. The text and a scan of the article can be read here.
Contact us via disabled.people.for.yes[at]gmail[dot]com