Jackie Baillie MSP has said that the Scottish Government’s decision to delay control of social security payments until 2024 will adversely affect the most vulnerable. The Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley-Anne Sommerville, told MSPs, yesterday, that the Scottish control of social security payments would be delayed.
In 2016, the Scottish Parliament was given new powers, including the power to alter the way some social security benefits are made but, instead of using those powers and reversing abhorrent Tory policies like the two child cap, the Scottish Government have delayed taking control again and again.
The previous Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman, promised that the powers would be delivered by 2021. But last year, the Scottish Government asked the Department for Work and Pensions to keep control of a range of benefits for an extra year, and then yesterday the Cabinet Secretary delayed control again.
“By delaying control of these vital social security benefits, the Scottish Government are leaving vulnerable people at the mercy of this callous Tory Government. Scottish social security claimants have been left to suffer DWP policies for too long already, and now the Scottish Government have told them that they will have to wait longer for things to be done differently in Scotland.
“Delaying full control of the powers until 2024 is a betrayal of vulnerable people who were told the Scottish Government would assume responsibility within this parliamentary term.
“It also makes a mockery of SNP promises in 2014 that a separate Scottish state could be set up within 18 months – vulnerable people will be waiting a decade for devolution of social security powers.
“The announcement also fails to make any mention of the SNP’s pledged income supplement. There are almost a quarter of a million Scottish children living in poverty, so that is simply not good enough.”