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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Piecemeal approach to transfer of welfare powers criticised

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Children in Scotland welcomes consensus over new powers but questions approach to welfare transfer

A lack of welfare powers being transferred over to the Scottish Parliament as a result of the Smith Commission will hinder the work of charities such as Children in Scotland, its chief executive has said.

Jackie Brock expressed her disappointment that the commission, which published its report this morning, does not include the transfer of tax credit.

Doing so would have enabled organisations such as Children in Scotland, to align policies for childcare with its funding she said.

“Our submission to the commission warned about the risks of piecemeal transfers of powers, particularly around welfare, and highlighted that it is essential that powers transferred will enable us to match more closely Scottish policies with resource requirements,” Brock said.

I am concerned that vulnerable families in Scotland may face even more complexity around welfare payments as a result of these transfers

“I do not believe that the commission’s recommendations have achieved these aims.

“For example, the welfare powers to be transferred do not include tax credit and other measures which would have enabled us to align our policies for childcare with funding of this vital support for children and families.

“Given the focus in the Programme for Government on the Living Wage, transfer of powers over the legal minimum wage would have been a valuable addition to our parliament’s powers to raise living standards and ambitions for Scottish families.

“I am concerned that vulnerable families in Scotland may face even more complexity around welfare payments as a result of these transfers.”

Brock did however say she was glad the main political parties reached a quick consensus adding she hoped it paved the way for more consensus-based politics in Scotland.

She continued: “Children in Scotland also welcomed the Scottish Government’s new programme which concentrates on tackling poverty, inequality and poor attainment, problems that continue to hold back generations in our most deprived communities and families.

“There is also much we can support in the Smith Commission recommendations, for example 16 and 17 year olds being able to vote in future Holyrood elections.”



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