The general principles of the new Social Security Bill have been approved by the Scottish Parliament.
A debate was led by the Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman MSP, on 19 December 2017, with MSPs from across political parties. This saw a range of issues raised including discussion around:
- Independent advocacy.
- Independent advice.
- Rules for mandatory reconsideration.
- A general anti-poverty principle.
MSPs voted to approve the general principles of the Social Security (Scotland) Bill which will see eleven entitlements devolved to Scotland. An additional supplement to the Carers Allowance will begin in Summer 2018, and the Scottish Government will introduce a Best Start Grant and Funeral Expense Assistance from Summer 2019. Dates have still to be announced for the operation of other entitlements.
The Social Security Committee will consider a range of amendments to the Bill in the New Year – and it is expected that the Bill will become law by Spring 2018.