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Ministers set to pass social security bill

This news post is about 6 years old

New dawn for a Scottish welfare system

Final plans for creating Scotland’s social security system is to be passed by MSPs today.

New powers mean 11 benefits, including disability living allowance, personal independence payments and carer's allowance, will be devolved to Holyrood from Westminster.

The benefits are worth about £3.3bn a year with their introduction phased between now and 2021.

Social security minister Jeane Freeman said that “plans are on track."

She added: "I need to be sure that the DWP - who have to transfer information to us and work with us - that their plans match ours.

Benefits devolved to Scotland

  • Personal Independence Payments
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Winter Fuel Payments
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disability Benefits
  • Funeral Expenses Payments (to be replaced by Funeral Expense Assistance)
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant (to be replaced by Best Start Grant)
  • Discretionary Housing Payments

"But so far we have had really good working relationships with our colleagues south of the border, in government and in the DWP, and I am confident that we will work all this through."

The bill still faces a number of last minute amendments. Last week the bill was forced to remove a limit on how long a terminally-ill patient must have left to live before they are fast-tracked to the highest rate of disability benefits.

It had been under pressure to do so from opposition parties, medical professionals and charities.

And Labour’s is calling for more radical changes to the bill.

The party’s social security spokesman Mark Griffin said: "We want them to top-up child benefit by £5 a week which would lift 30,000 kids out of poverty.

"We want them to split payments in households with universal credit so that women aren't susceptible to domestic abuse - if they live with an abusive partner, that they don't just take all the money that's coming into the household."

A one-off payment of £200m is being made by the UK government to support the transfer of the new benefits to Scotland.