John Downie, Director of Public Affairs at SCVO, responded today to the publication of the Social Security (Scotland) Bill: “The publication of the Social Security Bill is a landmark moment for the Scottish Parliament and we are pleased that the forthright views of Scotland’s third sector have so heavily informed the legislation.

“Over the last year, we have worked closely with voluntary organisations from an array of backgrounds – including charities advocating for children, carers, older people, those with disabilities and people from the most deprived communities in Scotland. The engagement, opinion, experience and evidence put together by the sector, collectively, has undoubtedly helped to shape what we see published today.

“We know that delivering social security is difficult and incredibly complex and there remain plenty of issues to navigate – not least how the new Scottish system operates in tandem with the UK system and the farcical roll-out of Universal Credit. But with the right support and by listening to service users and third sector organisations, solutions can be found and we can realise the ambition of providing a service with ‘dignity, fairness and respect’ at its core.

“Of course, the primary objective of the Scottish Government was to ensure the safe transfer of new powers to Holyrood. As such, we view this Bill as merely a first step and look forward to continual improvements and witnessing the evolution of Scotland’s Social Security system in to something we can be truly proud of.”

View the Social Security (Scotland) Bill here.