Date lodged: 12 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government which scheduled meetings of the Joint Ministerial Working Group on Welfare since June 2016 have been (a) re-arranged and (b) postponed following a request by (i) it and (ii) the DWP.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 20 March 2019
Since June 2016 there have been 7 meetings of the Joint Ministerial Working Group on Welfare (JMWGW). The dates, and minutes, of these can be found at https://www.gov.scot/groups/joint-ministerial-group-welfare/ .
The intention was that the JMWGW would meet quarterly but that did not always happen. In June 2018, following a request from Scottish Ministers, dates for the next four meetings were set with the aim of ensuring that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) prioritised, and matched, the Scottish Government’s pace for delivering the devolved welfare powers to Scotland.
Dates of 10 September 2018, 13 December 2018 and 18 March 2019 were subsequently agreed. UK Ministers requested that the 13 December meeting be rescheduled, but a mutually suitable alternative date could not be found, and it was subsequently cancelled.
The next meeting was originally planned for the 18 March 2019; this has been rearranged at DWP’s request on a number of occasions, and the meeting is now expected to take place on 1 April 2019.