Talking to the Scottish Government

scottish unemployed workers' network

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Yesterday I went to one of the public consultation meetings for the new Scottish Social Security system – and, within the constraints of our miserly devolution, I have to admit to being cautiously optimistic.

Bob Scott of Inclusion Scotland, who were hosting the event, reminded us that governments don’t implement progressive change without pressure from below, but I think that Jeanne Freeman, the Minister in charge, is genuinely pleased to have that pressure, and, of course, politically this is an opportunity to demonstrate how much better a Scottish system could be. Having said that, only 15% of the Scottish welfare budget is being devolved, with the Scottish Government being put in charge of the disability benefits – DLA, PIP, and Attendance Allowance – and Carers Allowance, and also winter fuel and cold weather payments, funeral payments, maternity grants, and discretionary housing payments. In addition, we will get the ability to…

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