Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP

Written 13 posts

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People

Are you eligible for more support?

29th July 2020

Opinion piece by Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley-Anne Somerville. From this week, thousands of families across Scotland will start to get letters telling them they are entitled to new Scottish benefits. This is a first in Scotland and shows that when it comes to social security – we’re doing things differently. We’re taking information…

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Thousands of children eligible for new benefit

9th April 2020

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville gives an update on a new game-changing Scottish child payment, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Every one of us is being affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak gripping the world, which is leaving our people, our communities and our economy facing major challenges. Last week I updated Parliament on…

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The women who inspire me

9th March 2020

To mark International Women’s Day, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville blogs about some of the women who inspire her, past and present. International Women’s Day is about celebrating women’s achievements and the impact women have on society – which so often goes unrecognised. I think of women like Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the astrophysicist…

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Investing in Scotland’s social security system

13th February 2020

We are creating the infrastructure for a new public service for Scotland. Our new social security system, is an important investment in the people of Scotland now and for generations to come. Yesterday I outlined how we are taking this new programme further. We have met and surpassed our commitments to date, having already established…

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Gender Recognition Act consultation

17th December 2019

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament in June, I announced that the Scottish Government would consult on a draft Bill to reform the process by which trans people obtain legal recognition of their lived gender through a Gender Recognition Certificate – a right they have had for 15 years. We first consulted on these…

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Two child benefit limit should be scrapped

1st August 2019

The two-child benefit limit implemented by the UK Government should be scrapped. The latest statistics released on the number of people affected by the cap on Child Tax Credits and the Child Element of Universal Credit is sad reading. Behind every number is a family denied and a child that has not received support they…

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Reforming gender recognition in Scotland

20th June 2019

Today, I announced that I will publish a draft Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill, which would reform the current process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate. I also made clear that this draft bill will be subject to a full consultation and will be accompanied by an equality impact assessment. I will introduce the legislation only…

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Investing in young children and their future

4th June 2019

School Age Payment Launched It is projected that by 2030, one in three children could be living in poverty in Scotland as a result of UK Government welfare cuts. This is not acceptable in the 21st century. The cruel cuts that are being enforced through Universal Credit and wider UK government welfare changes will reduce…

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Transgender rights and equality

18th April 2019

The debate about the rights of transgender people is becoming very polarised. As Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, I have a duty to try to change that and to encourage respectful debate. Setting out my own views and feelings on the matter – while  trying to better understand those of others – is a first step….

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Putting people first in Scotland’s social security system

22nd February 2019

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…

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