Legislation to mitigate the impact of controversial UK benefit changes has been unanimously backed in principle by MSPs.

The Scottish Parliament yesterday took steps that could help to mitigate against draconian reforms to the benefits system being introduced by the Westminster coalition.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the passing of Stage One of the Welfare Reform Bill. The Bill will enable arrangements for passported benefits –​ those which are devolved –​ to be put in place by April next year so that those eligible do not lose out once the reforms take effect.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson yesterday attended the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) to set out the Scottish Government’​s deep concerns about the welfare reform policies being pursued by Westminster and to ask for closer working on the implementation of these reforms.

Ms Sturgeon said: “​Time and again we have made clear our opposition to the welfare reforms being brought in by the UK Government. We know the current welfare system is fundamentally flawed, but the way to fix this is not by targeting the most vulnerable in our society, as these deep and damaging cuts do.

“​We know that the only way we can really tackle these issues is to have full powers over welfare and benefits in an independent Scotland.

“​One of the main reasons we opposed the UK Bill initially was due to concerns over the lack of legislative detail on reforms which could affect hundreds of thousands of Scots. Now five months later, we still don’​t have that detail, despite asking for it again at the JMC today. Without the necessary resources and information from the UK Government, it is placing its programme of reform in real jeopardy, putting the most vulnerable people in our communities at greater risk of poverty.

Full story on Egov Monitor


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.