The Social Security Committee of the Scottish Parliament is reviewing the issue of take-up, with a particular focus on the introduction next year of the disability benefits they’ll be taking over from the DWP. I gave evidence to a witness session last week, alongside David Bell and Mark Shucksmith. The video is here. My written evidence is in the agenda papers; the verbal evidence is now out in the Official Report of proceedings.
I’m sceptical that much can be done about takeup. I’ve long argued that the problems of ignorance, complexity and stigma played as much of a role in relation to non-means tested benefits as they do for means-tested ones. Putting a kinder face on benefits will not go to the root of the problems. Disappointingly, the Scottish Government has opted largely to replicate the existing system, with all its muddles, anomalies and confusion.