Shirley-Anne Somerville was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People in June 2018.
The Cabinet Secretary is responsible for:
- welfare policy, social security
- measures against poverty (with CSCLG)
- Best Start Grant (replacing the UK Government's Sure Start Maternity Grant)
- Funeral Expense Assistance (replacing the UK Government's Funeral Payment)
- Carers Allowance (at which point we will stop paying Carers Allowance Supplement)
- Young Carers Grant
- Personal Independence Payments
- Disability Living Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Cold Weather Payments
- Winter Fuel Payments
As the Minister for Older People and Equalities is currently on medical leave, the Cabinet Secretary has additional responsibilities.
- mainstreaming equality
- human rights
- older people equality
- disability equality
- race equalities
- women and gender equality
- violence against women and girls
- LGBTI equality
- social isolation and loneliness
Educated at Kirkcaldy High School, she then graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics (1996), followed by a Diploma in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling and a Diploma in Public Relations from Queen Margaret University College.
She has worked as a parliamentary researcher, a Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, and as a Media and Campaigns Officer at the Royal College of Nursing.
Shirley-Anne was previously an MSP for the Lothians region from 2007 to 2011, and returned to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 as MSP for Dunfermline. Shirley-Anne Somerville was appointed Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science in May 2016.