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'Time to put disability rights at heart of welfare state' - Hywel Williams

PLAID PLEDGES NEW APPROACH TO RECTIFY TORIES' "SHAMEFUL STEP BACK"

The Party of Wales has pledged a new approach to welfare support for disabled people in Westminster. The party’s Arfon candidate Hywel Williams launched a scathing attack on the Conservative-led coalition’s record in government, warning that during the last five years we have witnessed a “shameful step back” on delivering the rights of disabled people.

Hywel Williams said that Plaid Cymru would work with disabled people to develop a new welfare state that puts their rights at the heart of it.

Hywel Williams outlined Plaid Cymru’s four point commitment to disabled people:

  • To work with disabled people to establish a new welfare system
  • Help disabled people find meaningful employment through Job Centre Plus by putting the focus on helping people into work
  • Better provision of childcare for children with disabilities
  • For schools to teach inclusive values to help prevent discrimination.

Plaid Cymru’s Arfon candidate Hywel Williams said:

 “Punitive policies such as the Bedroom Tax have been hallmark of the coalition government. The last Tory-led government’s ideological attempt to dismantle social protections has been a travesty for disabled people. It has eroded the support available to disabled people and has sometimes demonised them which is totally unacceptable.

“The current Westminster government brought in many changes to disability benefits such as the phasing out of Disability Living Allowance and its replacement with the Personal Independence Payment. We opposed this at the time believing that the government was using it as cover for implementing cuts. In Wales, we support the continuation of the Independent Living Fund, and support its continuation in England in the next parliament as it has funding implications for Wales.

“Successive Westminster governments have reduced the support and entitlements available to disabled people, and Plaid Cymru will continue to work to reverse this trend. We want a new approach to welfare support, developed and designed by working with disabled people themselves, so that we can put their right sat the heart of a new system.

“Plaid Cymru will also help disabled people find meaningful employment through Job Centre Plus by putting the focus on helping people into work rather than punishing them for the disadvantages they face. We want to help equalise a young disabled person’s life changes by improving the provision of childcare for children with disabilities and by adopting a values-based approach in schools we will help prevent discrimination.

“Whilst the bankers and reckless politicians caused the financial crisis, it is the most vulnerable in our society that have been punished by regressive Westminster policies. It’s time to reverse this trend. Plaid Cymru wants to put values back at the heart of society.”