SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, has welcomed this week’s new details about how social security will be delivered in Scotland – as the Scottish Parliament prepares to take over responsibility for eleven benefits, including disability living allowance, personal independence payments, carer’s allowances and winter fuel payments.
The new agency, which will have major sites in Dundee and Glasgow as well as a local presence across the country, is expected to be fully operational by 2021 and will provide face-to-face support and advice, supported by centralised administrative functions.
In a statement to Parliament on 19th September, Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman, underlined that it will always be Scottish social security agency staff meeting and helping individuals, not private companies, that people will always be treated with dignity and respect; and that the agency will always meet the expectations of the Charter being developed in consultation with the people of Scotland.
And following discussions with ministers from the DWP last week, it was also announced that the bedroom tax will be fully mitigated in Scotland – without funding being clawed back or the support provided to those to whom the tax applies being limited by the operation of the Benefit Cap.
Commenting, Ruth said:
“In contrast to the Tories’ welfare regime of distrust, misery and despair, this Scottish Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to building a social security system based on dignity, trust and respect.
Whilst the Tories’ welfare reforms are condemned by the UN as creating a ‘human catastrophe’ for disabled people, this SNP Scottish Government will ensure that the shameful bedroom tax is abolished – and that people are able to get face-to-face advice and support from committed social security agency staff – not private companies.
I look forward to continuing to support this SNP Scottish Government as we build a social security system that we can be proud of.”