SCVO calls for devolution of welfare, employability, asylum and more
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has used its submission to the Smith Commission on more powers for Scotland to call for the full devolution of welfare, employability, energy and asylum support.
The body representing Scotland's charities and voluntary organisations consulted widely with members and civil society bodies before submitting its response today (Friday).
The key asks from the third sector are:
Any agreement on devolution shouldn’t be set in stone or be led by short-term party politics. It should be a process that’s reviewed every five years
- full devolution of welfare
- all powers over employability, and accompanying benefits
- devolution of the operation of asylum support
- full power over Scottish elections to allow the franchise to be extended to 16 and 17 years olds
- devolution of energy to help align energy policy with other devolved areas such as housing, energy efficiency and community empowerment
- devolution of VAT relief schemes for charities
- the devolution of a portfolio of taxes
- full devolution of equality law
John Downie, director of public affairs at SCVO, said: "The debate about devolution has focused on specific powers and responsibilities, but failed to pick up on how inter-related the issues facing Scotland are. The piecemeal devolution of powers would not deliver the fundamental change and greater social justice that so many people in Scotland want.
“We need to see a substantial coherent package of powers that will stand the test of time. Any agreement on devolution shouldn’t be set in stone or be led by short-term party politics. It should be a process that’s reviewed every five years.
“The sector also wants to see a commitment to more powers being devolved to communities, so that they have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. This would mean that, despite the Smith Commission’s impossibly tight timetable, we can still pursue a bottom-up devolution process led by people in Scotland, not just by politicians.”
Read SCVO's full submission on the SCVO website from Monday 3 November.