MATHESON WELCOMES LAUNCH OF SCOTTISH SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

Carers across Falkirk district will be the first people to benefit when the Scottish Government starts to make social security payments later this year.

MSPs unanimously passed the Social Security (Scotland) Bill last week, establishing the country’s first social security system.

The new agency, Social Security Scotland, will eventually be responsible for the delivery of 11 devolved benefits to 1.4million people.

The first Scottish payments will be made at the end of this summer and will see recipients of Carer’s Allowance get a 13% increase on the current DWP rate. A Best Start Grant to parents of newborn children and a Young Carer Grant will be introduced next year.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “I’m delighted that the Social Security (Scotland) Bill has been passed, because it gives us an opportunity to make different choices from the UK Government when it comes to welfare.

“While the Tories are obsessed with benefit cuts, the Scottish Government’s first move will be to give recipients of the Carer’s Allowance about £600 a year more. And while the UK Government has imposed a benefit freeze on those who need help, we have committed to annual increases in line with inflation for Scotland’s social security payments.

“We are introducing a system that will treat people with dignity and respect, and Social Security Scotland will have staff in local communities to provide face-to-face advice and support.

“While many benefits, including Universal Credit, remain reserved, this is the biggest transfer of powers since 1999 – and the Scottish Government’s priority is a safe and secure transfer for the 1.4million people who rely on these payments.”