Social Security Bill
21 June 2017
Historic legislation to establish Scotland's first social
security system has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
The Social Security (Scotland) Bill will give the Scottish
Government the powers to deliver eleven benefits devolved as part
of the Scotland Act 2016.
It also provides powers to top up reserved benefits and provides
a mechanism to pay a Carer's Allowance supplement at the earliest
Publishing the Bill, Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said
it represented a significant milestone in the process of
transferring these social security powers safely and securely.
Ms Freeman said:
"This is a significant moment for Scotland and for the history
of devolution. It gives this Government and this Parliament the
opportunity to make different choices - and shows that we can
create a fairer and more just society when we take matters into our
"I believe strongly that everyone has a right to social security
- so much so that I have put these principles on the very first
page of this Bill.
"And these principles are embedded in our approach throughout -
whether it is how entitlement to benefits is determined, a more
just review and appeals system, or our decision to remove the
private sector from disability benefit assessments.
"Dignity and respect is at the heart of our social security
policy-a marked contrast to the approach that the current UK
Government is taking, as their unjust welfare cuts continue to
cause misery, push more people into poverty and attract
"I look forward to working with colleagues across the Chamber,
the Expert Advisory Group and our Experience Panels to make choices
that work for Scotland, to reinstate fairness into the social
security system and to listen to people throughout the
The Social Security (Scotland) Bill is available
The Bill sets out an over-arching legislative framework for the
administration of social security in Scotland, making provision for
operational functions such as overpayments, fraud, error,
re-determinations and appeals.
It places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to give assistance to
persons who are entitled to it and provides a brief description of
each type of assistance that Scottish Ministers will give.
Secondary legislation will provide detail on what assistance will
be available and how the system will work. This will follow once
the Bill has been agreed by the Parliament. The legislation is
expected to come into force within the current Parliamentary
social security payments to be delivered by the Scottish
Government from summer 2018 will be the increased Carer's
Allowance, followed by the Best Start Grant and the Funeral Expense
Assistance from summer 2019.
The full list of the
eleven benefits being devolved to Scotland can be viewed on the
Scottish Government website. 10 of the 11 devolved benefits,
totalling around £2.9 billion of annual payments, will be delivered
directly by the new social security agency itself. Discretionary
Housing Payments will be delivered by local authorities.
Source - The Scottish Government website