Social Security Reform

Social Security Reform

23rd April 2024

 Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech today, Citizens Advice Scotland’s Social Justice policy officer Erica Young said:

 “The Prime Minister is right to want to support people into work and about the positive effects work can have for people living with a chronic condition, but rhetoric around ‘sick note culture’ simply does not match the reality of our social security system, and the importance of supportive relationships with GPs to those struggling with work due to their health.

 “Increasingly CABs are advising people who do not have enough to live on because years of soaring bills have wiped out their financial resilience. Many disabled clients in receipt of social security payments are choosing between buying food and charging essential medical equipment. Many are not accessing support at all.

 “There is a real risk this sort of language can create a culture of fear and put people off seeking any type of support, including the supported offered in Scotland based on the principals of dignity, fairness and respect. The use of DWP contracted health assessors to determine capacity for work has been linked to suicide, self-harm and severe distress, which must not be replicated in changes to the fit note system”

 “Restricting access to financial support does not tackle the root causes of increasing levels of ill health, the most important of which is health inequalities, encompassing poor housing conditions, access to services, low income and stigma. “