A least 2,000 Scots with direct experience of receiving benefits will be asked to help design ‘Scotland’s first ever social security system’, the Scottish Government has announced today.
Claimants from across the country will be asked to join ‘Experience Groups’ from Spring 2017, to help design and test the new system to ensure it works well for both themselves and others.
Their feedback will form part of a wider public consultation on the future of social security in Scotland, as responsibility over a range of welfare powers is transferred from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.
Among the new powers being handed to Holyrood, the Scottish Government will be given the ability to:
- Create new benefits in devolved areas
- Top up reserved benefits (such Universal Credit, Tax Credits and Child Benefit)
- Make discretionary payments and assistance
- Change employment support
- Make changes to Universal Credit for the costs of rented accommodation
- Make changes to Universal Credit on the timing of payments and recipients
- Make discretionary housing payments
[contextly_sidebar id=”4vDZPN50zpUMCf9sPLk6vruNHqW0deLz”]Announcing the project, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Angela Constance said: “We want to build a fairer social security system that treats people with dignity and respect.
“When we set out our guiding principles for social security, we said that we would put the user experience first, and that our system would be designed with and for the people of Scotland.
“As part of that process we are already consulting with a wide range of people from across Scotland to gather their feedback on how the current system works.
“We have listened to what goes well, but have also heard many reports of the problems so many people face when accessing benefits. We want to make sure that does not happen in our new system.
“Therefore we will recruit at least 2,000 people from across Scotland, who are in receipt of benefits, to help us shape and test our new system.
“We are determined that our new social security system is built to support those people who need it most. This crucial involvement from people with direct experience of receiving social security payments will help make sure that we get it right.”