Fairer Scotland

“Be part of something that will change the lives of many others”

April 7, 2017 by 13 Comments | Category Welfare and Social Security

The creation of a new social security system for Scotland is one of the biggest challenges ahead of the Scottish Government – and one of the most exciting.

Because we are doing things differently and shaping a fair system built on the knowledge and direct personal experience of those who are using, or have recently used, the current benefits system.

That is why we want to get over 2000 people to take part in our Social Security Experience Panels. We want you to help and guide us as we get our important new systems and processes set up.

New powers to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament include eleven benefits which pay out £2.8 billion a year to 1.4 million people. It’s those people that our new system must work for.

Our approach is completely different from the UK Government. I know many people feel let down by the current system because they have found it hard to navigate or feel they have been treated badly. People feel stressed and anxious instead of supported. But I understand that people want and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and that is why our social security system will have these principles at its heart.

We want people to have honest conversations with us and tell us what they need and want – so we design a system that takes into account the thoughts and views of the people it serves.

What we must not lose sight of is that this will be a transformational change in the delivery of social security.

We’re talking to people and learning from you. We’re listening to your needs and suggestions. We want you to be involved in this major new service that we are building.

We want to know: What would help you apply for a benefit you’re entitled to? How can forms and guidance be improved and simplified? Is there something we can offer that the current system doesn’t?

I want people to come join us on this journey. So why not volunteer and help shape Scotland’s social security system? We want to hear from you.

You could be part of something that will change the lives of many others.

If you think you can help and want to make a difference then please get in touch with us.

You can register your interest online http://www.gov.scot/socialsecurity or Freephone 0800 029 4974.

The closing date to register for the Experience Panels is May 12, and they will begin this summer.

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  • Jackie says:

    I would like to see the people in Scotland that have lost their lifelong DLA when it changed to PIP reinstated. How can a 30 minute appointment be appropriate for assessing someone with Autism especially when the interview was taken by a person with no experience in that field.

  • John Wastle says:

    Can the SNP government answer the following. I’ve posted the following on pensions before but no response. The SNP government, is afraid to recognise the issue. But following this is a blog that highlights the SNP Government LIES on it all. Pensioners and future pensioners should be aware of this failure by the SNP Government. I cover the TWO areas of State funded Old age pensions..

    1. The State funded Old Age Pension.

    2. The State funded Public Employee Pension.

    1. How is the State Old Age Pension funded? This is not the State Public Employee Pension, which I’ll cover next. The State funded OAP, is not paid from a OAP fund. People currently working today, today pay NIC’s (National Insurance Contributions), which in turn, pays today’s State funded OAP, pensioners. Same as when today’s OAP’s were working they paid for those already retired and collecting the State funded OAP.

    This fine as long as we remain part of the UK. We have 43M people in the UK paying into it with their NIC’s. Pensions account for 47% of welfare spending. Although a problem and a growing one, it is still manageable, just, but only because of increasing the retirement age and through NIC’s increases.

    As it is working taxpayers who pay NIC’s TODAY to pay the State OAP Pensions TODAY. Anyone currently working cannot expect the UK government to fund it if Scotland was independent.. The State funded OAP, as it is funded by today’s taxpayers paying their NIC’s, it would therefore fall upon an independent Scottish Government to do likewise and fund it from today’s working taxpayers.

    Scotland has a working taxpaying/NIC’s population of 2.8M. We also have the highest percentage per head of OAP’s, plus the fastest growing rate of OAP’s per head. The SNP, refuses to discuss Scotland’s OAP’s and how they will fund it, (SNP prefer to quote the UK Treasury’s statement that they would honour this payment. This is a SNP fudge, which I will cover shortly). Actually the problem could get even bigger, there are a lot of expats living in warmer climes who currently get their State OAP’s paid to them, an independent Scotland could find itself responsible for the State OAP’s pensions of all the Scottish expats.

    2. The State funded Public Employee Pension. This is the area the UK Treasury refers to when it says it would honour the pensions currently being paid. Correctly so, as this State funded Public Employee Pension has it’s employee members paying contributions into the Public Employee Pension Fund. As Scotland still remains within the UK, and on and after an independence date, those currently drawing that pension would continue to have it paid it by the UK Treasury, but those who retired after a independence date, would face a different scenario.

    At an independence date, those Public Employees who are still working, will face part of their State funded Public Employee, depending on how long and how much they have amassed by their contibutions paid into their Public Employee Pension fund, being funded up to that point by the UK Treasury, however at that independence date, all future funding of the State Public Employee Pension, would have to be funded by the Scottish Government.

    It’s worth pointing out at this juncture, of the 2.8M working taxpayers and NIC’s payers, approximately 22% of them are State Sector Employees, whose salaries, including their income tax, NIC’s and pension contributions are all funded by those who do not work in the Public Sector through their income tax payments

    To date, despite me seeking assurances and answers to the above, I can find no responses from any of the SNP government, one called me a troll and blocked me, obviously my questions were outwith his level of understanding and capability, their silence is deafening. As I am an OAP, it’s a no brainer, I will not vote for independence, I much prefer the security of the much larger UK amount of taxpayers funding the OAP. https://rwbblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/has-snp-just-changed-its-pension-policy.html

  • John Wastle says:

    The SNP government have increased my council tax well above the maximum 3%, my pension increases cannot match the increase. Why are the SNP attacking Old Age Pensioners?

  • Susan Hymers says:

    Get rid of Atos and Maximus, two companies that cost millions and provide inept, inaccurate and substandard so-called medical reports on people ill and disabled. Recommence using GP’s to assess their patients ability to work.

  • David Neilson says:

    Please consider the fact that we are paying at least twice to administer benefits. The DWP, who should be serving those in need try to minimise the benefits paid and many local authorities have “Benefits Maximisation” teams who then try to get the benefits entitlement for vulnerable members of society paid out. Surely having two sets of civil servants working against each other is nonsense? This does not even touch on the efforts of Welfare Rights charities and Citizens Advice Bureau in fighting a system that then has appeal costs further reducing the public finances. I hope the Scottish system will make some attempt to look rationally at this bureaucratic nightmare of maladministration.

  • Dorothy calder says:

    I think the current trend of generating a them and us ,skivers and strivers attitude needs to stop. Any system needs to be fair to all and break the entitlement culture that has for years blighted whole generations.

  • Anne Mckeown says:

    You need to get rid of the methadone program. It’s costing the nhs millions. Why has it been allowed to go on for all these years. It was meant to wean folk off heroin. 20+ Years and they are still getting it. These people never get sanctioned or made to look for jobs. While people who never asked to have life changing illnesses can’t get a chance of decent medicine. Are put under a lot of stress to claim benefits. I could go on, but I’m sure you get my drift. Enough is enough.

    • Maggie Paterson says:

      I know folk who have been on the Methodone programme and they are now working full time and living a worthwhile life with wifes and families .For many it was a long hard slog living in units away for their home towns and parental support ,if you want the Methodone programme scrapped you may as well stop the Alcoholics Anonymous programme and stop supporting anyone with smoking related problems .I know some will say ‘ Nobody made them stick a needle in their arm etc ‘ but at the same time no one made anyone smoke or drink

      • Margaret Knight says:

        I think the difference between Alcoholic Anonymous and the Methadone programme is that the tax payer pays for the Methadone programme where as Alcoholic Anonymous is funded by the people who go to these meetings and charity events.I think there is a much deeper reason not to scrap the Methadone programme and it’s to do with money.

    • Phee says:

      That’s simply not true. People on methadone programmes can and do get sanctioned. When it comes to their JSA (JSA is job seekers allowance, which FYI means they are having to look for work, even when they should be on ESA) they get no special favours.

  • Donna Miller says:

    I have uncontrolled Epilepsy and I have a pamphlet from my Doctors stating I should be getting PIP yet as soon as you let that in here I was basically tossed aside. I have an abnormality in my brain with residual reside you can’t fake that or fits and side effects of meds and that was me kicked off DLA appeal have to go up to the town and I need help filling the form in as my brain does not function as good as it used to. Knocked back again but with the time it took I could apply again same thing only this time I got my letters flung back at me basically saying I had no result letters as it statetd on one I was going for another scan. My daughter said they where rude to me the letters never hit me but it was the way they were unhanded back. I literally don’t know what to do, there are other things I could go on about but if you read this can you tell me why I do not get PIP

  • Rob Mackay says:

    I think the reintroduction of therapeutic earning for those on disability benefits would far better suit those with disabilities than the present UK system of ‘helping’ people with disabilities back into work. Therapeutic earnings with a capped limit that can be earned without changes to benefit entitlement. Importantly it should be offered without time duration limit. This would better support the disabled. We would feel supported not demonised or persecuted with the perpetual threat of loss of benefit or benefit cuts. It would help raise self esteem and confidence, help those that feel isolated, give valuable work experience, and for those that feel fit enough it could offer a supported transition into employment. Available to all people with disabilities and would also best supports those with mental health illnesses.

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