Social security plans – how will you be affected, asks Committee

03.07.2017

It will affect more than 1.4 million and will lead to expenditure of £2.9 billion a year, but what will the impact of the transfer of social security powers from Westminster to Holyrood mean for claimants? This is just one of the issues the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee will explore as it scrutinises the Social Security (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill represents one of the biggest transfers of power since devolution. It contains provision for the devolution of 11 benefits including Disability Living Allowance, Winter Fuel Payment and Carer’s Allowance.

Also contained within the Bill are seven principles on which the Scottish social security system will be based. The Committee has today launched a call for evidence asking if these are the right principles and for views on the benefits contained within the Bill.

Committee Convener, Sandra White MSP said:

“This Bill will have a huge effect on the daily lives of millions of people across Scotland. It will impact on some of the most vulnerable in our society and so it is vital that our Committee make sure any Bill works and delivers for ordinary Scots.

“It is clear from the principles within the Bill that the Scottish Government want people to be at the heart of the new system. But our Committee want to know what impact these principles will have and what these will mean for claimants who will have to live with the effects of this Bill.

“There is no doubt that this Bill marks a major change for Scotland in how the 11 benefits will be delivered. This is why we want to hear directly from those people to hear their views on whether the Bill will make a difference.”

As part of the Committee’s scrutiny it will hold a workshop with a group of witnesses who have direct experience of social security in a ‘Your Say’ session with some of the group giving formal evidence on 7 September 2017.

Background

The Social Security (Scotland) Bill was introduced as a result of measures contained in the Scotland Act 2016. These measures give the Scottish Parliament legislative competence over disability, industrial injuries and carer‘s benefits, benefits for maternity, funeral and heating expenses, and Discretionary Housing Payments.

The benefits transferred as a result of the Bill are:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance and Industrial Injuries Scheme
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Sure Start Maternity Grants
  • Funeral Payments
  • Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Payments
  • Discretionary Housing Payments

More information on the Bill can be found at:

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/105267.aspx

More information on the Committee’s call for evidence can be found at:

www.parliament.scot/social-security-bill

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