Social Security in Scotland: consultation

Consultation on the future of social security including policy, delivery and operational issues.

Responding to the consultation

We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by Friday, 28 October 2016.

We recognise that this consultation is lengthy and, at times, complex. We are seeking as much user involvement as possible to inform a large-scale programme of transition, implementation and, where appropriate, reform. This will be of a scale unlike anything the Scottish Government has delivered since devolution. It is not something that we enter into lightly and, unfortunately, it is not something that can be easily set out in a few pages.

That said, we want to make this consultation as accessible as possible, given its length. We have placed this consultation onto our consultation web pages, to allow for swift navigation and ease of use. We have published a short summary version of the consultation document, to help you decide which sections of the longer document you want to work through and complete, and we will make accessible alternative versions, including EasyRead versions, of the summary document available. If you wish to complete a clerical version of the consultation, a separate Consultation Questionnaire is also available.

We are also arranging an extensive programme of stakeholder events, which will take place after the consultation has been launched. These will be organised in partnership with a range of representative groups and other organisations. We hope that these events will provide opportunities for as many people who want to take part as possible, to come along to an accessible, friendly event and have their say.

We will circulate details of these stakeholder events in our weekly newsletter which is sent out every Friday. If you would like details of our stakeholder events, you can sign up for our newsletter either by following this link - , emailing us using the email address below or by phoning 0141 244 4552.

This consultation, and all other Scottish Government consultation exercises, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Government website at

We would prefer to have responses through the Scottish Government's consultation web page because we believe that responding online represents the best opportunity for respondents to give a full account of their views and opinions. However, we do understand that this is not possible in all cases. That is why this consultation will be also available in alternate formats on request, including large print, easy read, braille, BSL and other languages. We are happy to receive responses in alternative formats, eg spoken responses, other languages etc.

Please contact us 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 to request an alternative version.

Handling your response

Please send your response, along with the completed Respondent Information Form (which you will find at Annex B, at the back of the consultation document) to:


Social Security Consultation
5 th Floor
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU.

We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form (which you will find at Annex B, at the back of the consultation document). If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public in the Scottish Government Library.

You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the SG Library on 0131 244 4552. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.

What happens next?

This consultation is an opportunity for people and organisations in Scotland to be involved in shaping our legislation. We have already announced that we will bring Scotland's first social security bill to the Scottish Parliament next year. Between the end of the consultation periodand the introduction of the bill, we will develop and draft our legislation. Outputs generated by the consultation and our stakeholder events will be taken into consideration during the development of both the bill and the secondary legislation (usually referred to as 'regulations') which will follow the bill. We aim to issue a report on this consultation process as early in 2017 as possible.

However, the consultation will not be the end of our engagement. We will continue to seek views and feedback, in the course of developing our policy proposals. For example, we hope to be able to consult and seek further feedback in the course of developing our secondary legislation which will follow the bill.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to:

Chris Boyland
5 th Floor
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU.




Email: Edward Orr,

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