Scottish Welfare Benefits

Social security payments being devolved to Holyrood as part of the Scotland Billsocial security includes 11 existing benefits including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Carer’s Allowance.    The Scottish Government will also now have the ability to top up and create new benefits giving the government a fair amount of flexibility to adapt existing social security payments.

The Scottish Government have already confirmed it will use its new powers to increase Carer’s Allowance to the same rate as Jobseeker’s Allowance, abolish the so-called bedroom tax and introduce flexibility into how and when Universal Credit is paid.

Ministers plan on introducing a Social Security Bill in the 2016-17 parliamentary session to establish the new Scottish social security agency which will administer the expected £2.7 billion of social security payments.

Alex Neil, Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights Secretary stated “Our new Scottish social security agency will be the flagship organisation that oversees the delivery of benefits in Scotland.   It will be underpinned by our commitment to principles that will treat people with dignity and respect. We want to take a fairer approach to social security that tackles inequalities.”

Coroner blames DWP cuts for cause of death

THE UK Government’s brutal welfare cuts have for the first time officially been blamed for the death of a disabled dad.

The 60-year-old man with serious mental health problems killed himself after being hounded back to work by Iain Duncan Smith’s Department of Work and Pensions(DWP) after being on disability benefits for 10 years.

An investigation found that the “trigger” for the suicide was “his recent assessment by a DWP doctor as being fit for work”.

The London-based coroner has written to the DWP raising concerns that “there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

Read full article here.

Further DWP Cuts In Support to Disabled

SNP respond to Iain Duncan Smith speech
Mon, 24/08/2015 – 16:51

The SNP have accused the Department of Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith of looking to further cut support for disabled people.

Commenting, Social Justice and Welfare Spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Ian Duncan Smith’s speech today is his way of trying to hide further benefit cuts and is yet another example of the Tories ideologically-driven attack on our social security system. Once again, it is society’s most vulnerable who will suffer most as a result.

“There are deep seated flaws with the current assessment process. What is needed is a full independent assessment to understand the problems within the current system. Once that is established, a new assessment system can be introduced which does not stigmatise people and truly supports people into meaningful work rather than acts as a vehicle to removing benefits.

“That is what people actually need rather than the measures proposed by Iain Duncan Smith today, which will only lead to more hardship for more people.

“The Scottish Government has been acting to offset the savage cuts by the UK Government through the ‘Getting It Right’ framework, Scottish Independent Living Fund, over £5million to improve learning disability services, and of course almost £300million to mitigate UK Government welfare cuts. This is in stark opposition to a UK Government who have removed support from disabled people at every turn, scrapping the Independent Living Fund, cutting the disabled Access To Work Scheme, closing Remploy factories, and introducing the bedroom tax.

“It is still a deeply worrying time for many in Scotland and across the UK, who rely on support. This is just the latest in a series of attacks by the Tories who have consistently and frequently attacked the ill and disabled.”

Benefits System

SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford is calling for an immediate halt to all sanctions in response to concerns that DWP staff are put under pressure to hit targets.

Dr Whiteford has written to Minister for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith saying that a “root and branch” independent review must be carried out immediately following a sorry catalogue of errors at the government department.

In recent weeks it has emerged that the DWP shamelessly fabricated success stories for a leaflet, that half of JSA and ESA sanctions were overturned when reviewed and today a whistle-blower has revealed that staff are under pressure from bosses to impose sanctions.

read full bulletin at www.snp.org

Inhumane Welfare Regime

THOUSANDS of people have died after being declared “fit for work” sparking fresh calls from campaigners and politicians for an overhaul of the Tory Government’s “evil and inhumane” welfare regime.

New statistics released by the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) show that more than 80 people a month are dying shortly after work capability assessment (WCA) found them fit for work.

To read the full article click The National.