Putting people first in Scotland’s social security system
Recent press stories about the DWP using deflection scripts to get callers off the phone was disappointing but not surprising.
We know from our own research that almost three in five people rated their experience of the current DWP system as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.
Since taking on this post, and speaking to users of the current system it is no exaggeration to say that the treatment many have received has bordered on the inhumane.
Our system will be different. We will deliver a service with dignity, fairness and respect.
Those delivering our Scottish social security system will support people as they apply for payments. People can interact with us in the way that is best for them, whether that be by phone, online or face to face. You won’t be forced to apply online and you’ll never be rushed off a call.
We are taking steps to create a local delivery service to provide face to face support for people applying for the social security benefits that we will be delivering.
The Scottish Government sees social security as a human right and an investment in the people of Scotland. Our new system will be as accessible as possible – removing barriers for people, not putting them in their way.
So if you are entitled to a benefit then it’s your right to get it – on time and in full.
And we are building our system with people who have experience of the current UK system. Everything we do from client letters to application forms and even our telephone scripts have been developed with them to ensure we deliver a service that meets the needs of the people of Scotland. That testing is important because it makes sure we get all the information we need to make a decision and are presented in a way that makes sense and isn’t completely impersonal.
The Scottish Government has a clear vision of the kind of country we want to be. We are determined to make further progress on tackling inequality and reducing poverty. Delivering our new social security system is a key part of that. We are creating something different, a service that is compassionate and puts people at its heart. A system you can be proud of.