Social security consultation reaches half-way mark.
There are six weeks left for people across Scotland to have their say on how our new social security system should be shaped.
Since the end of July more than 100 events have been organised across the country and hundreds of people have already taken part. Many more events are planned during the next half of the consultation period and the opportunity is there for individuals to make their voices heard.
Encouraging everyone to take part before the consultation closes on 28 October, Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said:
“As we pass the half-way mark in the consultation process I am delighted we have had such a huge number of people taking part.
“From one end of the country to the other, I am really encouraged by the number of people who have taken the time to let us know how they want their social security system in Scotland to work.
“Social security is an investment we all make in ourselves and in each other. None of us know when the day might come when we will need that support and thousands of people across Scotland rely on social security – in one form or another.
“We will be responsible for 15% of the total UK benefit budget, but that still affects one in four of us and we want to make sure the new system in Scotland truly reflects the values of dignity, fairness and respect. That’s why it’s so important that the people who use or could use the social security system and the benefits that we will be delivering have a say in shaping it.
“I want to hear from people about their experience of the system as it is now and how the Scottish Government can improve it – so please make sure you have your say before 28 October.
"There are different ways for you to do this – either online or by post – so you can choose which one suits you. The most important thing is as many people as possible take the opportunity to really make a difference and have their voices heard.”
The consultation runs until 28 October and can be found at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/social-security/social-security-in-scotland
To find out about events near you or to get a copy of the consultation, you can do so by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0131 244 7763 or in writing at Social Security Consultation, 5th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU.
This is the biggest transfer of powers since devolution. Once the powers are fully devolved – a lengthy process expected to take a few years – these new social security powers will account for around £2.7 billion – or 15% of the total Scottish benefit bill. However, the Scottish Government still won’t be responsible for all benefits, with about 85% of spending left in the hands of the UK Government.
Benefits being transferred to Scotland are:
• Ill health and disability benefits – including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
• Carer’s Allowance
• Sure Start Maternity Grants
• Funeral Payments
• Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Payments
• Discretionary Housing Payments
• Some powers in relation to Universal Credit.
Benefits to remain reserved to the UK Government are:
• Universal Credit (which replaces Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Related Employment Support Allowance, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit)
• State Pension and Pension Credit
• Contributory Employment Support Allowance
• Child Benefit
• Maternity and Paternity Pay
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