This week, the SNP and Tories joined forces in the Scottish Parliament to block Scottish Labour’s plan to end the degrading tests that disabled people are forced to take in order to access benefits.
Currently, as a result of Tory policy, disabled people are made to complete work-capability assessments to decide whether they are eligible for disability benefits. These tests include a 20 metre walking test. In theory, this test is meant to prove how fit a claimant is and whether they have a right to access social security.
Jackie Baillie MSP voted with her Scottish Labour colleagues on Wednesday to scrap this 20 metre walking test, as it fails to capture the reality of someone’s disability, but the proposal fell due to SNP and Tory MSPs voting together to ensure that the degrading test remained.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“It is clear that when it comes to their views on disability benefits, the Tories and the SNP are two sides of the same coin.
“Nicola Sturgeon and her Nationalist Government seem content to continue implementing this backwards work-capability test which was introduced by the Tories. She has the power to rebuild Scotland’s broken social security system but it is evident that the SNP is happy to stick to the Tory status quo when it comes to enforcing degrading, inhumane tests.
“I will continue to fight to ensure that disabled individuals in my constituency have access to the social security that they deserve.”