Thursday 11 September 2014

For the disabled, a Yes vote is like a lifeboat in a sea of cuts

Are you disabled like me? If so then here are three policy areas that should lead any of us to vote Yes for Scotland:

The Work Capability Assessment was created by New Labour to force as many disabled people as possible off benefits. Under the Tories, a system that was set up to pander to the Daily Mail's readers has become even more inhumane.

The Scottish government has pledged to remove Atos Healthcare and ensure that as a stop gap measure all assessments would be carried out by more sympathetic public sector workers. Then, an independent Scottish government  "will ensure that the people most directly affected by the system of welfare support, those in receipt of benefits, will play a central role in its design."

Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment are policies that concern most disabled people and the Tories are determined to push them through. For its part, New Labour has criticised these odious plans, but has given no firm commitment to abolishing them. How can they when Scottish Labour is nothing but an appendage to a national party that panders for the votes of the Southern English middle class? That is probably why Johann Lamont went on record as saying that Scotland is a "something for nothing" country. How can any disabled person put any faith in such a party or want to live in such a country?

For its part the Scottish government has already rejected these schemes as being unfit for purpose and will halt the role out of both into an independent Scotland.

The benefit cap and bedroom tax are both hated in Scotland, and aim at reducing expenditure for Westminster and the taxes of its supporters. The Edinburgh government has pledged to abolish both within the first year of independence.

By way of contrast, New Labour has already pledged to keep to Tory spending plans until at least 2017, and the Fabians have already come up with a policy document that seeks to cut a further £5 billion off the social security budget by attacking attendance allowance for pensioners.

A far more sensible way to raise revenue would be to ensure that businesses and wealthy individuals pay their taxes, but since the Westminster parties are creatures of business and the rich, that is not going to happen.

Scotland does not have the same belief that the spivs, pimps and Rachmans of this world are necessary for its well being - quite the reverse in fact.

A vote for independence is a gamble with out future, but it is a gamble that is well worth taking for the disabled. If we vote no then we know that the future will be as awful as the present, because none of the Westminster parties is actually offering us anything other than the same old policies.

If we vote Yes then we are voting for the hope of a better tomorrow. Let's be honest: even if things do go wrong, can it get any worse for us than it is at present?

1 comment:

  1. "Let's be honest: even if things do go wrong, can it get any worse for us than it is at present?"

    At present, disabled people in Scotland receive state benefits. In fact, they're probably a little better off than disabled people in England and Wales.

    After the establishment of Mad-Eye Salmond's People's Republic of Scotland, disabled people will be reduced to begging in the streets when the oil bonanza dries up and the state benefits can't be paid any more. (In fact, it won't be necessary to be disabled in order to be reduced to begging in the streets; there will be no money to pay for state benefits for able-bodied and able-minded people either.)

    Before wealth can be redistributed, wealth has to exist. As soon as Scotland votes Yes, all the taxable wealth will be transferred to England overnight. (You'll remember that this used to be a problem for socialist governments in the UK. As soon as they were elected, much of the wealth they wanted to tax left the country.)

    For example, the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland will be vacating Scotland for all significant purposes ASAP. I haven't heard about the Clydesdale yet.

    Anyway, Ken, you can rely on me to send you food parcels when the Scottish economy collapses. As a rabidly patriotic Scot living in England, I'll do my bit for my friends who have the misfortune to live in the Albania of the North.


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