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Scottish Government Debate: Update on the Social Security Programme Business Case

Tuesday 07 February 2023 3:24 PM


Ben Macpherson S6M-07805 That the Parliament notes the updated social security programme business case; recognises the delivery of 12 Scottish social security benefits, seven of which are new forms of support only available in Scotland, including the Scottish Child Payment, which is a vital part of the collective national mission to tackle child poverty; acknowledges the imminent payment of the Scottish Government’s 13th benefit, the Winter Heating Payment, which, in 2022-23, will provide 415,000 low-income households with a reliable £50 payment, and thereafter an annual reliable payment, backed by approximately £20 million; acknowledges the UK Government’s contribution to the joint programme of delivery of Scottish Government benefits, and that the commitment of both governments will be required to deliver the programme business case; looks forward to the introduction of further Scottish Government benefits; agrees that social security is an essential investment in the people of Scotland; appreciates the important financial support that Scottish Government benefits provide to people, particularly during the current cost of living crisis, and welcomes the record investment of £5.2 billon in benefit expenditure in 2023-24, which will provide meaningful support to over one million people, including low-income households, disabled people and carers. Jeremy Balfour S6M-07805.1 As an amendment to motion S6M-07805 in the name of Ben Macpherson (Update on the Social Security Programme Business Case), insert at end “; acknowledges that the Parliament was only given sight of the updated social security programme business case one day before it was debated; notes that the Winter Heating Payment will not be paid to many households until March 2023, which will likely be after the worst of the winter weather is over, and affirms that the Scottish Government’s social security programme has run over budget and over time and, in many cases, has underdelivered for the people of Scotland.” Pam Duncan-Glancy S6M-07805.2 As an amendment to motion S6M-07805 in the name of Ben Macpherson (Update on the Social Security Programme Business Case), leave out from "recognises" to end and insert "notes that the Scottish Government has ceded control of vital benefits to the Department for Work and Pensions until the second half of the decade, creating a further year's delay for hundreds of thousands of potential recipients of Scottish benefits; further notes that costs for delivering the social security programme are spiralling out of control, with higher than predicted estimates for IT and staffing; acknowledges that the Scottish Government’s changes to the winter payment will leave many people in Scotland out of pocket over winter, during a cost of living crisis; calls on the Scottish Government to commit to no one losing out financially from its new Winter Heating Payment, and notes that the lack of transparency on plans to fund increased costs of Social Security Scotland's implementation have led to the inability of key organisations such as Audit Scotland to properly scrutinise Scottish Government policy."

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