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Aug 19, 2013

Iriss hosted a public debate on the subject of welfare reform to mark Learning Disability Week 2013. It was held on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 in Glasgow and was attended by over 50 people. The motion for the debate was: 'Welfare reform will mean that people with learning disabilities will be pushed further into poverty?' The speakers included: Peter Scott (CEO, Enable Scotland); Bill Scott (CEO, Inclusion Scotland); Alex Johnstone MSP; and Andrew McKie (Journalist). Following the debate, Michael McEwan from Able Radio spoke to members of the audience to get their views on the issue.

A selection of comments from individuals who attended the debate:

Lively. Feel better informed and more convinced than ever that welfare reform is a dangerous, misguided piece of legislation.

Good event. Peter and Bill were phenomenal - outlined and argued strongly against the reforms.

Massively important issue. Devastating critique of current reform.

Emotive issues - difficult but interesting debate. Do consider that people with learning disabilities have become further stigmatised as 'welfare dependent' within wider welfare reform debate.

I feel shame for the government who represents me and I feel desperately worried for the people my organisation supports.

I agree that the government needs to make cuts and that there are a number of individuals with and without learning difficulties who are able to work, but feel that reform is happening too quickly and in a way that isn't giving a true reflection and without consideration for those who are most vulnerable.

Transcript of episode

Music Credit: Something Elated by Broke For Free