WITH SWEEPING NEW WELFARE powers about to be placed in the hands of the Scottish Government people in Moray are being urged to participate in a 13-week consultation.
Local MP Angus Robertson has said that as there are many people in Moray reliant on welfare support, many of whom are sick and disabled, it is of major importance that they have their say in how the new powers should be delivered.
Regulations that are the beginning of the transfer of power from Westminster to Holyrood were laid this week. Eventually the Scottish Government will have power over several benefits – including disability and carer payments.
It is expected to be several years before the devolved powers come into practice – when they do, they will see the Scottish Parliament responsible for around £2.7billion of the benefit bill in Scotland.
Angus Robertson is calling on as many people as possible to have their say in the consultation which runs until October 28 – while relevant organisations are expected to take part, anyone with an interest in social security in Scotland is being encouraged to do so.
Mr Robertson said: “The Scottish Government has been working to put these new powers to use as quickly as possible in order to improve people’s lives in Scotland. This consultation will help to inform the process of creating legislation for a fairer social security system – one that treats people with respect.
“I see first-hand at Westminster the dire need for the devolution of welfare from a right wing Conservative Government lacking compassion for some of the most vulnerable in society. Low income working families and disabled people have consistently paid the price for Tory austerity.”
The MP added that the limitation of the powers being devolved, with 85% of benefit spending remaining under Westminster control, was far from being a ‘magic wand’.
However, he added: “They will enable the SNP Government to put in place a number of measures that will benefit people across Scotland, including increasing Carer’s Allowance to the level of Jobseeker’s Allowance, and replacing the Sure Start Maternity Grant with an expanded Maternity and Early Years Allowance.
“I would urge constituents and organisations in Moray to take part in this consultation and help us ensure that we are able to build a Scottish Welfare System that is based on the fundamental values of dignity and respect.”