Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the publication of the Bill and agrees with its general principles. The devolution of social security powers is an extremely significant development in the history of the Scottish Parliament and represents a unique opportunity to create a new system that has the potential to make a positive difference for tens of thousands of Scotland’s citizens.
CAS welcomes the values of dignity and respect that are intended to underpin the new social security system, and the Scottish Government’s commitment to make improvements on issues in the reserved benefits system. We also welcome the inclusive approach the Scottish Government has taken to developing the new system. The extensive engagement undertaken, including with those with lived experience of the benefits system has been welcome and will contribute to a system designed around the needs of those who require support from it.
At introduction, there were a number of issues that CAS raised where we believed the Bill could do more to live up to the values and ambitions for the new system. A substantial number of these have been addressed through amendments at Stage 2, with a small number of outstanding issues that could be addressed through Stage 3 amendments below.