Ben Macpherson was appointed Minister for Social Security and Local Government in May 2021.
Specific responsibilities are:
- Social Security Scotland
- Scottish Welfare Fund
- Carer's Allowance / Carer’s Assistance
- Child Disability Payment
- Adult Disability Payment
- Child Winter Heating Assistance
- Scottish Child Payment
- Job Start Payment
- Best Start Grant
- Self-Isolation Support Grant
- Funeral Expense Assistance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Cold Weather Payments
- Winter Fuel Payments
- Care Leaver grant
- Welfare Foods
- benefit automation and advice services
- local government
Ben grew up in Edinburgh before studying a BA Honours degree in Philosophy and Politics at the University of York. After graduating he returned to Edinburgh and worked in a number of different roles before going on to complete a postgraduate LLB and a Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh. He then qualified as a solicitor and practised as a lawyer with one of Scotland’s large commercial firms. As well as his legal training, Ben has worked in financial services, for an NGO, in renewable energy, in a school and in hospitality.
Throughout his career, Ben has been a committed political activist. In 2016 this culminated in being elected as the MSP for the Edinburgh Northern and Leith constituency, where he lives.
As a backbencher, Ben has previously served on the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee, Justice Committee and Sub-Committee on Policing. He was also a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minster between 2016-2018.
He is a committed internationalist and passionate about social justice and sustainable, inclusive economic progress. Beyond working and campaigning, Ben likes running, football and watching films and documentaries.