Some responses to the consultation on social security

The responses to the Scottish consultation on social security have been  available online for about a month, but I’ve just got round to sifting through them.  I’ve not looked at most, because there are 460 of them, but what I have read reflects a great deal of thoughtful engagement, from individuals, professional groups, local authorities and the third sector.   (There are also some things to disagree with,  but I’ll leave people to find those for themselves.)

Here are some links to get you started:

It’s difficult to make sense of the submissions by reading them one by one – which is all that was possible at first.  The web page has been redesigned in a way that pretty much invites readers to enter a key term  – “cold weather”, “funerals”, “maternity”, “hearings” and so on – to see what people are saying about the topic.   However, that doesn’t work for every topic – there are 196 submissions with bits relating to assessments.  It also doesn’t show material from entries that have referred to evidence in PDF documents.  So, for example, the fullest discussion of Industrial Injuries benefits I’ve found so far is made by Thompsons Solicitors, but it doesn’t come up on a search.

2 comments

  1. Paul Spicker

    There was some flak directed at the Scottish Government for not assuming the new powers immediately, but that’s not the same as saying that there have been delays in the operation. The government has to be seen to get everything right; any problems or hiccoughs in the transfer will be laid at their door. It’s an impossible demand.

    If the government had done everything all at once, they’d have been bound to implement the system pretty much as it stands – that would be the only practical way to get things up and running directly. I think everyone is hoping that things will be done better, and that implies that they need to be done differently. So talking things more slowly offers at least the prospect that the kinds of issue being flagged in the consultation, such as those relating to medical assessments or MR, will be taken on board. Having said that, it’s likely that whatever is done at first will rapidly set like concrete – it’s not practical or politic to starting paying money to people in need and then take it away again. If there are going to be major changes, they need to be done at the start, or it may not be possible to do them at all.

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