1 December 2022 - First Minister's Questions
Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP:
In 2018, Scope found that disabled people in Scotland spent, on average, £632 a month on disability-related expenses such as taxis, the increased use of heating, special equipment and care costs. One in five disabled adults faced additional costs of over £1,000, and almost a quarter of families with disabled children were facing similar costs.
Given the current cost of living crisis, will the Scottish Government consider commissioning an update to that research?
I am happy to give that proposal consideration. I also recognise the reality for people with disabilities that Pam Duncan-Glancy has narrated today. Of course, we have already taken steps to implement our strategy—a fairer Scotland for disabled people. Over the five years of the delivery plan we have, for example, increased the number of people involved in choosing and controlling social care support through self-directed support. We have also seen Fair Start Scotland helping more than 9,000 people into employment and we have established a new child disability payment to replace the disability living allowance and a new adult disability payment to replace the personal independence payment. We are introducing a brand new child winter heating assistance benefit, which will only be available in Scotland.
We have done that work, but all Governments need to look to do much more. Having research to underpin and inform that work is always important, so I will certainly look at that suggestion carefully.