GCVS has expressed support for a written statement by Engender, to the Scottish Government’s Welfare Reform Committee expressing serious concerns with the “breakneck speed” at which the devolution of welfare powers to Scotland is progressing, arguing that the new clauses are designed to benefit political parties at the expense of people in receipt of benefits. They are also concerned over the lack of consultation with the public and civil society about the new powers and say that they fall short of what was put forward by the Smith Commission.
The statement, which has the support of SCVO and a number of other third sector organisations, expresses concern that without being properly thought through, the legislation is in danger of doing real harm and that proper consultation and debate should take place to ensure that any reforms have a positive impact on women, who have borne the brunt of the UK Government’s welfare reforms to date.
They call for a halt to the implementation of Personal Independence Payments and Universal Credit in Scotland until welfare powers related to these benefits are devolved. They also call for the removal of clauses which inhibit the power of Scottish ministers to make decisions on welfare issues without the agreement of the UK Government.
The organisations supporting the statement see the devolution of welfare powers as a real opportunity to help address inequality and to help lift women, children and other equalities groups out of poverty.
If your organisation would like to support the statement, please contact Jill Wood firstname.lastname@example.org