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Scots ministers go to London demanding full welfare powers

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​Smith Commission proposals must be implemented in full says delegation

A Scottish Government delegation is meeting in London (20 July) demanding full devolution of employment services and that Smith Commission recommendations are implemented in full.

Fair work and social justice ministers from will meet with Westminster’s joint ministerial working group on welfare to discuss powers over welfare and employability.

A key issue on the agenda for Scottish ministers is that work must now begin on how best to strengthen Scottish Government involvement in the operation of Job Centre Plus north of the border.

The Smith Commission report recommended that although Jobcentre Plus may remain reserved, the UK and Scottish Governments should work together to share services and governance of the network in Scotland.

The watered down bill simply doesn’t give us the powers we need - Roseanna Cunningham

Ministers will also criticise the UK government for its "inexcusable" welfare cuts as new Scottish Government analysis shows that families in Scotland who rely on tax credits will face nearly £700 million worth of savings.

Cabinet secretary for fair work, skills and training Roseanna Cunningham said: “This meeting is vitally important as we seek to secure the best deal possible for Scotland.

“The watered down bill simply doesn’t give us the powers we need to provide seamless employability services to support people into work.

“It is absolutely essential we start to see some progress to strengthen the Scotland bill so that it reflects the true spirit of the Smith recommendations.”

Social justice secretary Alex Neil will urge the government to abandon its plans to cut tax credits and has reiterated fears from charities that these cuts will push more children into poverty and increase inequalities.

Scottish Government analysis has found households with the least money will face the biggest losses as a result of the UK government’s latest budget.

 

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