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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07672: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will ensure that its forthcoming social security bill does not (a) contain and (b) allow for the introduction of regulations that have the same effect as the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, once responsibility for disability benefits has been fully devolved.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 17 March 2017

The Scottish Government is very concerned about the significant impact on people’s lives that will result from the recent amendments being made to the Personal Independence Payment regulations by the UK Government. I have already written to the UK Minister responsible for this, expressing the strength of feeling in Scotland about the tens of thousands of people who will be adversely affected and asking her to reconsider these changes.

The Scottish Government does not intend to replicate UK Government legislation within our social security Bill. As will be clear from our actions, our approach to social security is very different to that of the UK Government and we consider it an investment in our people.

That can be seen in our appointment of an Expert Advisory Group on Disability and Carers’ Benefits which will provide the SG with independent expert recommendations and guidance on disability benefits.

The Social Security Bill will - be introduced to Parliament before summer recess and will enable us to deliver a new Scottish social security which has fairness, dignity and respect at its heart.