Scotland’s largest gathering of disabled workers is set to take place in Clydebank this weekend.
The Golden Jubilee Hotel will host the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) disabled workers’ conference as the group calls for further action from the Scottish and UK Governments on the cost-of-living crisis.
The 2022 conference comes during the Year of Disabled Workers, celebrating the contribution those living with a disability make to the labour market.
The 2019 Disability Price Tag report from disability equality charity Scope showed, on average, the cost of living was already £600 a month more expensive for disabled people.
With inflation hitting a 41-year high and UK Government welfare payments not keeping in line with rising costs, the STUC commented “enough was enough”.
STUC Disabled Workers Committee chair Tony Slaven said: “Disabled workers throughout Scotland are being priced out of living as this cost-of-living crisis spirals out of control.
“We know that disabled people already have additional monthly expenses of £600. That’s before soaring energy costs, unaffordable rents and skyrocketing food prices.
“The blunt and inescapable truth is that disabled workers are not just overlooked – we are deliberately discriminated against.
“Without further, sustained support from both Scottish and UK Governments, disabled workers will not be able to survive this winter.
“Enough is enough. This weekend, we will be making our voices loud and clear that we will no longer be treated as second-class citizens or ignored in the face of an unmitigated cost-of-living disaster.”
Roz Foyer, STUC general secretary, added: “Disabled workers face a damning 17.2 per cent disability pay gap, earning £3,731 a year less than non-disabled people.
“Our movement cannot stand idly by whilst disabled workers have become an afterthought during this humanitarian crisis.
“We’re pleased that the Scottish Government has committed to uprating their new Adult Disability Payment in line with current inflation.
“They must complete this urgently before more disabled workers are left out in the cold as winter approaches.
“On the other hand, the Chancellor’s latest budget will do little to comfort workers, including those living with a disability, that they will escape the hardship and economic catastrophe caused by the UK Government.
“This weekend, they will hear our voices loud and clear as we demand better for workers across Scotland.”