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Social Security Scotland slammed for big delays in transfer of benefits from Westminster

This news post is about 1 year old

Original timetable is being replanned

Scotland’s social security agency could face a three year delay before it is able to deliver disability living allowance and some other benefits.

Since 2016, the UK government has transferred several key benefits to Social Security Scotland amounting to some £2.8 billion.

It had been expected that all benefits would have been transferred by 2020 but covid is being blamed by Scottish ministers for the delay.

Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride has written to the Scottish Government to extend the arrangement but warned there should be “no further slippage” in the transition.

The delay also applies to attendance allowance, severe disablement allowance and payments for industrial injuries.

The Scottish government said it would set out the timetable for the delivery of future benefits to the Scottish Parliament today (7 February).

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy said: "The relationship between Scotland's two governments has descended into chaos once again, leaving the SNP's promise to deliver a fairer, functioning Scottish social security system in tatters.

"Every day that this programme is delayed is another day that disabled people and carers are left at the mercy of a Tory-run DWP".

 Conservative MSP Miles Briggs said: "It is concerning that we are yet again seeing DWP and UK ministers having to provide contingencies and extensions to agency agreements to help support the ongoing delivery of welfare payments in Scotland.

"Promises made by SNP ministers around the establishment capabilities of Social Security Scotland have come and gone".

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "This is and has always been a joint programme of delivery between both governments.

"The Scottish government has worked with the UK government to ensure that plans for the transfer of benefits were deliverable both for the UK government and the Scottish government.

"Both governments needed to pause some work to respond to the pandemic, so the original programme of work needed to be replanned.

"Despite the pandemic, we are now delivering 12 Scottish government social security benefits to one million people, seven of which are entirely new forms of financial support which are only available only in Scotland including the Scottish Child Payment."