Welfare Reform Campaign gathers momentum as Capability gives evidence to MSPs
23 November 2011
The campaign against the Welfare Reform Bill gathered pace yesterday (22nd November) as a number of disability organisations, including Capability Scotland, gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament.
Capability's Director of External Affairs, Richard Hamer, Pam
Duncan of Inclusion Scotland, Carolyn Roberts of the Scottish
Association for Mental Health and Keith Robertson of the Scottish
Disability Equality Forum all appeared before the Health and Sport
Committee. Together they explained how proposals contained in the
Bill would impact, not only on the lives of disabled Scots but also
on the purse strings of local authorities.
The evidence from disability organisations was the first of two
panel sessions. The second was attended by Neil Couling from
the Department of Work and Pensions. Following the two panels
the Committee met with Nicola Sturgeon, the Cabinet Secretary for
Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy, to discuss the evidence.
The sessions scrutinised many aspects of the Bill including: the
impact on both disabled people and local authorities of replacing
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence
Payment (PIP), the implications that new housing under-occupancy
rules may have on disabled people who cannot find somewhere that is
both smaller and accessible to live and whether the Scottish
Parliament should oppose the legislative consent motion which gives
the Westminster Government the power to enact the Bill in
Capability Director of External Affairs, Richard Hamer,
"Yesterday was a really important day in our fight against the
cuts contained in the Welfare Reform Bill. It was a great
opportunity to have a face-to-face discussion with MSPs about the
devastating impact the proposals are going to have on disabled
"Capability is encouraged by the response of the MSPs and of the
Cabinet Secretary, who gave the strongest indication so far that
she was in support of not granting the legislative consent motion
for the Welfare Reform Bill in its current form."