Scotland politics

Last call in Scots devolved welfare system consultation

Man in wheelchair next to Forth Bridge Image copyright Lukassek
Image caption The Scotland Bill is to give Holyrood control over benefits for people with disabilities

Ministers have issued a final call for views on how benefits should be delivered in Scotland's devolved social security system.

A consultation on how the Scottish government should run its own welfare system comes to a close on Sunday.

Holyrood is taking over the administration of disability benefits, carers allowances, winter fuel payments and a series of other welfare systems.

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman welcomed the response so far.

Hundreds of people across the country have taken part in the consultation, which has been running since July.

The Scottish government is setting up its own agency to deliver social security payments, with the ability to top-up existing benefits and create new ones.

Image caption Jeane Freeman said it was "incredibly important" that people have a say on the new welfare system

Holyrood is taking on social security powers under the Scotland Bill accounting for about £2.7bn of benefits. Areas of competence being transferred to Scottish control include:

  • Ill health and disability benefits, including disability living allowance and personal independence payments
  • Carer's allowances
  • Funeral payments
  • Winter fuel payments
  • Sure Start maternity grants
  • Discretionary housing payments
  • Some universal credit powers

The UK government will retain control of universal credit, which replaces jobseeker's allowance, tax credits and housing benefit, the state pension, child benefits and maternity and paternity pay.

Ms Freeman said: "I am delighted we have had such a good response from people across the country giving us their views.

"Social security is an investment we all make in ourselves and in each other. None of us know when the day might come when we will need that support and thousands of people across Scotland rely on social security - in one form or another.

"So it's incredibly important that the people who use or could use the social security system and the benefits that we will be delivering have a say in shaping it."

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