Disabled children’s transition bill being voted down is ‘devastating'

The bill was defeated by 90 votes to 19 in Holyrood on Thursday.

Pam Duncan-Glancy: Disabled children’s transition bill being voted down ‘devastating’ PA Media

The MSP who proposed a bill aimed at improving the transition of disabled children into adulthood has said it being voted down is “devastating”.

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy put forward the legislation, which would require councils to put plans in place for every disabled young person as they become an adult.

However, the bill was voted down at stage one by 90 votes to 19.

Following the vote, Duncan-Glancy said: “Today the SNP-Green Government teamed up with the Tories to deny young disabled people a fighting chance at a future.

“I brought this legislation because young disabled people and their families have been let down for far too long – left stranded without the support they need, denied their dreams and aspirations and ultimately set up to fail.

“My bill was called ‘the biggest opportunity on disability rights since devolution’, the government has missed the opportunity and denied their rights as a result.

“The SNP says we should wait and see if their approach works, but it’s been 7 years since they committed to a national transitions strategy and in that time thousands of disabled young people have been left to fall off a cliff edge.

“Today’s vote is devastating, but if there’s one thing I know it’s that we don’t give up without a fight. We fought to get this far and make no mistake – disabled people will get back up and keep on fighting.

“With this government, young people have no chance, with our bill, they’d have had a fighting chance.”

Speaking in the Holyrood debate on Thursday, children’s minister Natalie Don said the Government were still committed to improving transitions for disabled young people.

But she said the Government agreed with Holyrood’s Education, Children and Young People Committee, telling MSPs: “The Bill will not necessarily deliver on its laudable aims to resolve the issues experienced by disabled young people.

“But I’m sure that the focus and the priority that we are taking forward will.”

Ms Don was alluding to the Scottish Government’s planned national transition to adulthood strategy.

“I am pleased to confirm today that we will aim to publish the strategy by the end of next year,” she said.

“This is an integral part of our work to improve transitions for disabled young people.”

The bill, should it have progressed at Holyrood, would require “substantial amendment” at stage two, the minister added.

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