Anti-poverty campaigners welcome new benefits agency announcement

The Poverty Alliance has welcomed news from the Scottish Government on plans to create a new benefits agency for Scotland.
The Poverty Alliance has welcomed news from the Scottish Government on plans to create a new benefits agency for Scotland.

The Poverty Alliance has welcomed Tuesday’s announcement from the Scottish Government on plans to create a new benefits agency for Scotland, and the desire to put dignity and respect at the heart of social security.

The new agency will be responsible for delivering £2.7bn worth of benefits once they are devolved to Scotland.

Powers over welfare will include disability benefits, carers allowance and the regulated social fund. The Scottish Parliament will also have the power to create new benefits and top up reserved benefits.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “The Poverty Alliance wants respect and dignity to be at the heart of the social security system.

“The devolution of welfare powers to Scotland presents us with a real opportunity to think about the type of Scotland we want to live in and how we achieve this.

“We welcome today’s announcement from the Scottish Government and look forward to hearing more details in the coming weeks.

“It is important that when setting up the new agency, the Scottish Government works with people experiencing poverty to develop a system that works for them.

“Too often people we work with tell us that they feel judged and stigmatised when accessing benefits. It is important that the new agency avoids replicating some of the current problems with the delivery of social security.”