E32: Social Security – Cllr Laura Brennan-Whitefield
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Twelve-month waits for payment,  a culture of suspicion, punishing bureaucracy are just some of the features of the UK Social Security system people living with disabilities face.

In this episode, Drew chats to Councillor Laura Brennan-Whitefield, a SNP Councillor for North Ayr, a mother, a disabilities campaigner, a trekie and someone who lives with a disability.

Laura, who has lived with Multiple Sceloris for 14 years, believes an Independent Scotland offers the opportunity to build a system that treats people fairly, with dignity and respect. Something she believes is very different to what is on offer under the UK system.

Across the UK, people living with disabilities face a rigid social security system that doesn’t consider their condition, their individual needs and, for some, even prevents them from working. Instead of recognising the contribution disabled people can have in our society, the current social security system under the UK Government goes to battle with people who need support. The sheer rate of applications for support overturned on appeal shows just how broken the system is.

In contrast, with its limited powers – a mere 15% of all social security powers, the Scottish Parliament has shown that it can be done differently. By putting fairness and dignity at the heart of social security, we have the opportunity to support disabled people to live their very best lives.

Laura shares her thoughts on how this approach to social security impacts views on independence and how she believes an independent Scotland will better serve people living with disabilities.

Follow Laura on Twitter here and SNP Disabled Members Group here

Listen to other Scotland’s Choice episodes here.

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