The Scottish Government has launched a consultation seeking people’s views on the future of social security in Scotland.
With many people in Inverclyde, including the sick and the disabled, reliant on welfare support and many organisations in Inverclyde involved in supporting individuals and families who use the welfare system, Inverclyde’s MSP Stuart McMillan is urging people to make their views known.
The consultation will run for a total of 13 weeks and is seeking views on the benefits being devolved to Scotland, as well as how they are delivered.
The process of transferring power, for the Scottish Parliament to make legislation in relation to a limited number of benefits, including disability and carer’s payments, passed an important milestone this month when regulations were laid at Westminster to begin the transfer.
The Scottish Government is now a step closer to bringing forward its own social security legislation, to implement these changes over a number of years.
Once fully devolved, these social security powers will account for around £2.7 billion, or 15% of the total Scottish benefit bill. The remainder of benefit spending in Scotland will remain under control of the UK Government.
The consultation will run until 28th October, with social security system users, advice and representative organisations, other 3rd sector and public sector organisations, and anyone with an interest in social security in Scotland being invited to participate.
Commenting, Stuart said:
“The Scottish Government has been working to put these new powers to use as quickly as possible in order to improve people’s lives in Scotland. This consultation will help to inform the process of creating legislation for a fairer social security system – one that treats people with respect.
“There is a dire need for the devolution of welfare from a right wing Conservative Government lacking compassion for some of the most vulnerable in society. Low income working families and disabled people have consistently paid the price for Tory austerity.
“These limited new powers will not be a magic wand – 85% of benefit spending will still be in the hands of the UK Government – but they will however enable the SNP Government to put in place a number of measures that will benefit people across Scotland, including increasing Carer’s Allowance to the level of Jobseeker’s Allowance, and replacing the Sure Start Maternity Grant with an expanded Maternity and Early Years Allowance.
“I would urge constituents and organisations in Inverclyde to take part in this consultation and help us ensure that we are able to build a Scottish Welfare System that is based on the fundamental values of dignity and respect.”
The consultation can be found at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/social-security/social-security-in-scotland