Statement of support from Susan Archibald, disability rights campaigner and founder of The Archibald Foundation:
“I am really pleased that the Scrap Trident coalition is taking a stance to Defend Disability Rights and I hope other organisations and groups will join them. The money saved from scrapping Trident could cushion the blow for everyone affected by Welfare Reform. So much work is needed now in local communities as the most vulnerable people and their families are under attack by this Government.
We have to look at every budget and think how the money could be spent better. We could choose to create paid jobs, not Workfare, as every person matters in Scotland and everyone should have the hope of a paid job. Whether able bodied or disabled people, they should not be forced to work for no pay.
Serious changes affecting disability benefits came into play this year to help the Government strip DLA, now called PIP, away from the very people who need it most. So many working families, already living on the edge, will be forced out of work when Universal Credit hits. Many of them might not get enough hours employment, and under the new changes if they do not progress into full time employment they can be forced onto the work programme to work for free. This is unfair.
The Bedroom tax is also a major worry for thousands of ordinary people in Scotland. Many simply do not have the money to pay and will end up evicted as a consequence, leaving thousands of families destitute.
If the government invested money in housing projects, rather than spending £100 billion on Trident, thousands of young people could learn a trade and be paid at the same time. This would also provide more social housing, relieving the problem caused by successive Governments not building houses.
Changes to the laws regarding legal Aid also came in on April 1st. This will have a huge effect on anyone needing legal aid for advocacy regarding housing, education, medical, employment and, of course, wait for it, the First-tier Benefit Tribunal, which removes people’s human right to access to justice and a fair hearing.
I spend my whole life working to promote equality, and zero tolerance to discrimination, for people all over the world. I honestly couldnae forgive myself for being responsible for the slaughter of innocent people if the UK’s nuclear weapons were ever used. So please, join me to “Scrap Trident NOW!”
The Scrap trident coalition are delighted to have someone like Susan working alongside us. Susan is disabled due to having suffered complications during surgery and was left unable to walk. After a tribunal and subsequent appeals, it was agreed that Susan had been discriminated against following dismissal from work, on the grounds of disability.
Susan’s determination has ensured that employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people if they become unable to carry out their job due to their disability.
Susan has worked with many organisations whose role it is to ensure dignity and equality for disabled people. Currently, amongst many other things, she is an activist and supporters of the WOWpetition campaign. The Scrap Trident coalition urges all of its supporters to visit the WOWpetition site and sign the petition to end the war on welfare.