Building a New Scotland: social security in an independent Scotland - easy read

Easy read version of the Scottish Government's proposals for social security in an independent Scotland. Further details are available in the main paper.

Building a New Scotland - Social Security in an independent Scotland - Easy Read

This paper is about the Scottish Government’s plans for social security in an independent Scotland.

When we start a family, retire, get sick or disabled, or are out of work or on a low income, the government can give us money to help.

This help is called "social security” and that money is paid through social security benefits.

This paper explains how with independence we could build a better social security system for Scotland, one people can turn to when times are tough.

The Scottish Government wants a social security system that treats people with dignity, fairness and respect. A new system should also make sure people have enough money to live on.

Social security in the UK

A fair and equal society needs a strong social security system. It should help us all with life’s ups and downs.

It should help us to care for family or friends. It should help us if we are unable to work or have extra costs because of illness or disability.

The Scottish Government thinks that the UK social security system is unfair. It does not always treat people with respect. It does not always give people enough money to support them properly.

The Scottish Government spends millions every year to tackle the worst things about the UK social security system.

The Scottish Government thinks that support should be available whenever people don’t have enough money, for whatever reason. People should not be pushed into poverty.

Social security in Scotland

Scotland now has its own fairer social security system that gives people better support through new benefits.

Social Security Scotland is now supporting around two million adults and children. This shows how Scotland can change things for the better.

The Scottish system puts dignity, fairness, and respect at its heart. This is because we involve people with experience of benefits in the design of the system.

But the UK Government still controls most social security benefits. With independence and responsibility for all benefits, Scotland could do so much more.

Social security with independence

The Scottish Government believes that we can have a better, fairer social security system with independence.

With independence, Scotland would have control of all parts of the social security system.

We would make sure people keep getting the payments they are entitled to when they need them.

The Scottish Government would make big changes to Universal Credit so it’s fairer for everyone, including families with children.

We’d also protect and improve benefits for carers and disabled people.

Steps like these would help households and make things easier for unpaid carers and disabled people.

Our changes to Universal Credit would cost around £250 million per year. But lower poverty levels would save money in other areas like healthcare in the future.

This is part of the Scottish Government’s approach to the wellbeing economy. We want everyone to be healthier, happier, and wealthier.

We believe access to social security is a human right. The system should respect people’s dignity and reduce poverty in Scotland.

Over time, we would be able to make even bigger changes to social security, like a ‘Minimum Income Guarantee’. This would make sure everyone in Scotland had enough money to live on.

Future governments could also think about introducing a Universal Basic Income. This could bring financial security to everyone and reduce inequalities.


The Scottish Government believes that we could have a better social security system with independence.

We could do more to tackle poverty and inequality. We could make sure everyone is treated with dignity, fairness, and respect.

Social security could help make sure people in Scotland have the money they need when they need it.



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