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The Smith Commission was tasked with providing recommendations on increased powers that could be devolved to Scotland following the Scottish independence referendum.

Its report, published on November, 27 2014, detailed a number of recommendations in relation to social security. Following the Smith recommendations, work is now being taken forward to plan for the devolved powers that are coming to the Scottish Parliament.

Legislative clauses

The UK Government published its draft legislative clauses on January, 22 2015. The Scotland Bill was published on May, 28 2015.

The Devolution (Further Powers) Committee  published New Powers for Scotland: An Interim Report on the Smith Commission and the UK Government’s Proposals)  on May, 14 2015 which made recommendations on the UK Government's legislative clauses.

The Scottish Government published a response to the Devolution (Further Powers) interim report on  June, 8 2015. The response set out in detail the Scottish Government’s position on the changes, illustrated by alternative clauses, that need to be made to the Scotland Bill to allow the Smith agreement to be implemented in full.

The Scotland Act 2016 received royal assent on March, 23 2016.

Joint Ministerial Working Group on Welfare

The Joint Ministerial Working Group was established to provide a forum for discussion and decision-making to ensure the implementation of welfare and employment-related aspects of the Scotland Act 2016. It met first in February 2015. More information on this group can be found on the governance page.


The Scottish Government regualry provides factual information and an overview of benefit expenditure.