Inquiry - The Future Delivery of Social Security in Scotland



Whilst the devolution of some aspects of Social Security continue to be debated during the passage of the Scotland Bill, the Welfare Reform Committee has opted to focus on the practical implementation of the social security schemes outlined in the Smith Agreement.

The Committee invited all interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence on the Smith Agreement and how we can use the proposed devolved powers to better deliver benefits in Scotland.  The Committee tackled this inquiry in four workstreams and wanted to know:

How should the new welfare powers proposed by the Smith Agreement be used to improve or change:

a) Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance

b) Universal Credit (housing element and administrative arrangements arrangements) and Discretionary Housing Payments

c) the Work Programme and Work Choice

d) the Regulated Social Fund, new benefits, top-ups and delivery of benefits overall.

Under these workstreams the Committee particularly welcomed:

  • Practical suggestions to ensure that the principles of dignity, respect, support, equality and common sense are embedded in the new system.
  • Views on the integration of Scottish devolved benefits with existing devolved powers and any unintended consequences of changes. 
  • Systems of intergovernmental working in relation to benefit delivery


The Call for Evidence is now closed.  The deadline for the receipt of written evidence was Friday 28th August 2015. 

The Committee took oral evidence from September to November 2015.

Written evidence

Read the Call for Evidence

Read the written evidence received

Oral Evidence

20th Meeting, Tuesday 10 November 2015

19th Meeting, Tuesday 03 November 2015

18th Meeting, Tuesday 27 October 2015

 17th Meeting, Tuesday 06 October 2015

16th Meeting, Tuesday 22 September 2015

15th Meeting, Tuesday 15 September 2015


The Committee published its report on the inquiry on 14 December 2015

The Scottish Government responded to the report on 09 February 2016


A debate was held during the inquiry scrutiny to allow the chamber to contribute its views on how the delivery of social security should operate in Scotland in future. This took place on 12 November 2015.


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