Public to design social security system

At least 2,000 people with direct experience to test new approach.

At least 2,000 people who have direct experience of receiving benefits are to help shape Scotland’s first ever social security system.

People from across the country who currently receive a benefit which will be devolved to Scotland, or who have received it in the last year, will be recruited to help to design and test the new system to ensure it works for them.

The Experience Groups will be set up from spring 2017, and will build on the feedback which is already being gathered through the Scottish Government’s current social security consultation.

Announcing the project, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Angela Constance said:

“We want to build a fairer social security system that treats people with dignity and respect. When we set out our guiding principles for social security, we said that we would put the user experience first, and that our system would be designed with and for the people of Scotland.

“As part of that process we are already consulting with a wide range of people from across Scotland to gather their feedback on how the current system works.
“We have listened to what goes well, but have also heard many reports of the problems so many people face when accessing benefits. We want to make sure that does not happen in our new system.

“Therefore we will recruit at least 2,000 people from across Scotland, who are in receipt of benefits, to help us shape and test our new system.

“We are determined that our new social security system is built to support those people who need it most. This crucial involvement from people with direct experience of receiving social security payments will help make sure that we get it right.”

Notes to editors

Once fully devolved, Scotland will take control of around £2.7 billion, or 15% of the total Scottish social security bill. The remainder of spending in Scotland will remain under control of the UK Government.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on Scotland’s first ever social security consultation. You can give you views at

You can also get involved in the consultation by email at or telephone on 0131 244 7763 or in writing at Social Security Consultation, 5th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU.


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