The Scottish Government is consulting on the future of social security

The Scottish Government has released a consultation on the use of its new social security powers.  I’ll be looking to respond in due course but it’s a lengthy document and I thought people would appreciate having the link before I started to work on it.

In the meantime, I have previously discussed the kinds of things that the Scottish Government might be doing in a paper for the Common Weal,  What can the Scottish Parliament do with new social security powers?

2 comments

  1. Alan Parker

    Can you not give hope to the disabled and those in need including those with mental health problems like me and simply change the rules on DLA / PIP , how can the SNP Government complain when linking suicides to medicals and after getting new powers to change things in a written response to me say it will be Westminster DWP doing the medicals for years to come ! Simply issuing new instructions to the DWP and those doing the medicals now could save lives !

    I get you may well see the need of setting up a new social security system but who pays for the set up costs , will it be taken from the benefit budget or is it new money ? Is it not a fact and a possibility to use the existing infrastructure , possibly saving millions and if it is new money those millions could get added to the benefit budget ?

    Rule changes you should instruct those doing medicals immediately from September should include :

    1 / Those doing the medicals can not over rule GPs or specialists of any kind , this should not happen anyway but does and this saves money on the extremely high percentages of appeals won ?

    2 / Lifetime DLA awards stay lifetime even if transferred to PIP ?

    3 / Many charities say DLA is fairer so it may be prudent to stop PIP and any new transfers immediately ? This rules out number 2 above !

    4 / Staff doing medicals must have better knowledge of conditions the disabled they see , as an example it seems silly for Physiotherapists to do medicals for people with mental health patients ?

    5 / Simple instructions to DWP staff for those on the benefits with the new SRIT code could effect change more efficiently than a whole new set up that could take years, as this still leaves people like me in fear and suffering with suicidal thoughts daily due to the extra worries on suffering on rules that the SNP and other Scottish parties promised would be more sympathetic ?

    6 / If indeed it is true then stop paying the companies and medical staff on the basis of how many they remove from the system , just make it a set annual fee for any company you choose to do the service ! If indeed you continue with the draconian medicals at all ?

    Finally all the above can be done immediately rather than have recipients go through harsh procedures were our GPs and specialists are ignored , were we are when summoned to medicals treated appallingly by under-qualified staff and forced to go through it all again with appeals that a high percentage are won anyway ! Change on instructions to the DWP and medical staff doing the medicals is needed on day one in September not in years to come as this will cause more self inflicted deaths !

    • Paul Spicker

      I don’t have any status to affect these issues directly – I’d encourage you to respond to the consultation. I was at a meeting yesterday of Disability Agenda Scotland, a consortium of groups working with disabilities. The meeting was held under Chatham House Rules, so I can’t tell you what was said or who said what, but I think I can at least say that people are very much alive to these issues.

      I can also repeat an argument I’ve been making in meetings like this. There’s considerable scope to reduce both the numbers of assessments, and the numbers of questions they ask. It’s possible to accept the existence of certain conditions as sufficient evidence for some entitlements, and evidence based on professional contact for others. There’s also good research evidence to show that it’s not necessary to ask about every issue, and that for many people only the most serious issues need to be considered. That won’t remove the need for assessments in every case, but it could remove most: there’s no call for a system that assesses and reassesses every applicant individually.

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