Disabled people have been singled out by the three main Westminster parties for savage welfare cuts, says the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) will see disability benefits slashed for over 100,000 disabled Scots.
Across the UK, the change represents a £3 billion a year cut by 2017/18 that will see more than one million disabled people losing out by at least £1,120 a year.
Around 47,000 disabled people in Scotland are expected to lose up to £2,964 a year as a consequence of changes in eligibility to the mobility component.
The SNP are proposing a modest increase in public spending in order to put a halt to the rollout of PIP and stop the “savage cuts” to disability benefits.
This, they claim, represents “a clear dividing line” between the “austerity politics” of the Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats and the “progressive politics” of anti-austerity parties like the SNP.
Labour sided with the Tories and Lib Dems last November to vote against a motion put forward by the SNP to halt the roll-out of PIP in Scotland.
Scotland’s Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “A clear dividing line in the debate will be between the progressive politics advocated by Nicola Sturgeon, and the austerity politics of the Westminster parties.
“Disabled people have been singled out for savage cuts, which is simply wrong – those losing out will be worse off by at least £1,120 a year.
“SNP MPs will use our clout in a hung parliament to halt the roll out of the botched reforms which are responsible for these cuts – and challenge Labour to back us, which they have refused to do.
“Labour’s track record in Scotland is voting with the Tories and Lib Dems against halting the roll-out of PIPs.
She added: “Scrapping the cuts in benefits for disabled people is the right thing to do, and will also demonstrate that the political system is there to serve the interests of vulnerable and hard-working people – the many, not the millionaires.”.
The comments come ahead of tonight’s leaders debate, which will see seven party leaders line up against each other just weeks before the general election in May
Shona Robison said: “The very fact we are having a General Election debate involving seven parties shows that politics in Scotland and across the UK is changing – and we need a big team of SNP MPs in the next House of Commons to ensure that the policies change too.”