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Re-thinking Welfare: Fair, Personal and Simple, 04/06/14 [S]

This is the 2nd report of the Expert Working Group on Welfare looking at the medium and long term options for welfare in an independent Scotland.

A Scottish welfare system should aim to be ‘fair, personal and simple’ according to a new report from the independent Expert Working Group on Welfare.

Set up to consider the options for creating a new welfare system in an independent Scotland, the Group’s report contains a number of important recommendations that could be undertaken immediately following independence, as well as medium and longer-term options.

Immediate recommendations include:

  • Re-establishing the link between benefits and the cost of living, with benefits and tax credits (which are currently subject to a one per cent annual increase) being increased each year by the Consumer Prices Index of inflation.
  • Subject to certain economic conditions being met, the National Minimum Wage should rise (in phased amounts) to equal the Living Wage. The payment of Employers National Insurance should reduce to help business make this transition.
  • Abolition of the ‘Bedroom Tax’.
  • Introduction of a new Social Security Allowance (SSA). The SSA would bring together existing benefits into a single payment, but would not include Housing Benefit. The household would have choice over how often to receive their assessed SSA, and who in the household should receive it, with the default position being payment to the main carer rather than the main earner

For full details see the Scottish Government website.

Further Information

Re-thinking Welfare: Fair, Personal and Simple
Scottish welfare system should be ‘Fair, personal and simple’
Government responds to Welfare Report