Welfare system legislation introduced at Holyrood

Welfare system legislation has been introduced at Holyrood. Picture; Lisa Ferguson
Welfare system legislation has been introduced at Holyrood. Picture; Lisa Ferguson
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Legislation that will establish Scotland’s first welfare system has been introduced at Holyrood.

The Social Security Bill will give ministers the power to deliver 11 benefits devolved under the Scotland Act 2016 and sets out the framework for their administration.

The first payments delivered by the Scottish Government will be the increased carer’s allowance from summer 2018, followed by the best start grant and funeral expense assistance from summer 2019.

Social security minister Jeane Freeman said the publication of the legislation marked a “significant moment” in the history of devolution.

She said: “It gives this Government and this Parliament the opportunity to make different choices - and shows that we can create a fairer and more just society when we take matters into our own hands.

“I believe strongly that everyone has a right to social security - so much so that I have put these principles on the very first page of this Bill.

“These principles are embedded in our approach throughout - whether it is how entitlement to benefits is determined, a more just review and appeals system or our decision to remove the private sector from disability benefit assessments.

“Dignity and respect is at the heart of our social security policy - a marked contrast to the approach that the current UK Government is taking as their unjust welfare cuts continue to cause misery, push more people into poverty and attract international criticism.

“I look forward to working with colleagues across the chamber, the expert advisory groups and our experience panels to make choices that work for Scotland, to reinstate fairness into the social security system and to listen to people throughout the process.”