Though the EU and constitutional issues are important and currently dominate political debate, we believe that the foundational values that underpin our society are of greater consequence. Though we might hold strong views personally, as a party we are neutral on the desirability or otherwise of Scottish independence or EU membership. However, we regard the recent referenda as having settled these issues for the duration of this and the next Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Government promotes the Social Model of Disability: “Unlike the medical model, where an individual is understood to be disabled by their impairment, the social model views disability as the relationship between the individual and society. In other words, it sees the barriers created by society, such as negative attitudes towards disabled people, and inaccessible buildings, transport and communication, as the cause of disadvantage and exclusion, rather than the impairment itself.” The SFP fully supports measures to help disabled people, and commends the government for progress in the regard. However, we do not believe that the social model of disability is truthful or helpful. Some of the challenges that disabled people face do stem from their disability, and blaming “society” in every case is clearly misguided.
People experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction should be free to seek counselling as they seek to fulfil their life vision, which may involve moving to a heterosexual relationship in the future. Moves to prevent such support are ideologically driven and an attack on individual freedom.
Insurance and utility company regulation should ensure a transparent and stable pricing structure. The price charged to existing customers should always be the same as that for new customers or customers who ask for a discount. This would simplify the decision-making process for all customers and prevent the exploitation of vulnerable customers who do not check their payment level regularly.
We want people to be able to buy their own homes. Currently, house prices are too high. New housing developments on brownfield sites should be encouraged through the planning system. Some looking to buy a home are priced out of the market by buy-to-let landlords, and thereafter enrich a landlord rather than investing in an asset for themselves and their family. Such landlords do not contribute to society by offering a desired service, but prevent people from buying their own home and then exploit the need for accommodation for profit. We support the Additional Dwelling Supplement recently introduced to counter this problem, and would consider increasing the supplement if necessary.
We oppose the concept of a Citizen’s Income or Universal Basic Income. It would subsidise self-indulgence and laziness, while undermining the proper sense of responsibility to provide for oneself and one’s family.