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Social workers in Scotland call for Universal Basic Income in manifesto launch

Social work association calls for “urgent measures” including a basic income, or dignified financial support, as well as an end to the principles behind people being left in a situation with No Recourse to Public Funds.

16/03/21

Social workers in Scotland call for Universal Basic Income in manifesto launch

The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) has today launched its 2021 election manifesto with calls for urgent measures in law to protect people’s human rights, and more effective state aid to prevent them from living in poverty.

The document, launched on World Social Work Day 2021, comprises seven asks across three key priority areas: Human Rights, Poverty, and Listening to the Voices and Experiences of Social Workers.

A key priority of the manifesto is a commitment to the policy of a Citizens’ Basic Income or other means of “effective and dignified financial support” from the state.

Children and Families Social Worker and Chair of the Association’s Committee, Jude Currie, welcomed the call to provide a citizens’ basic income.

“As a social worker, I see the devastating impact poverty has on the children and families my team and I support daily.

"No one should be forced to choose between feeding their children, heating their home, or the other necessities Scotland’s families are sadly denied.”

Also in the manifesto is a call to “reject of the principles of No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)” – and ensure local authorities are funded to address the needs of all vulnerable people whatever their immigration status.

SASW is also asking politicians to “talk to people with lived experience of poverty and involve them in policy developments to better understand the hardships they face so you can deliver more effective solutions at both national and local level.”

The Association is also recommending that MSPs sponsor a cross-party group for social work at the Scottish Parliament, and that they commit to fully and consistently implementing Scotland’s Self-Directed Support (SDS) legislation.

On the manifesto launch, SASW National Director, Alison Bavidge said the document sets out important steps needed to protect the most vulnerable people in Scotland – and the social workers who support them.

“As candidates stand for election and re-election in 2021, we ask them to stand with social work – with practitioners, with people who use social work services, their families, and their communities – and to take decisive action to fulfil our Manifesto.

“We will continue to work with candidates in the run up to the election, and with the future Scottish Parliament, to ensure a fairer future Scotland.”

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