Social Security Bill strengthened through amendments

The Scottish Government’s Social Security Bill has been strengthened by a round of amendments at committee level.

Amendments brought forward by Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman allow for people to receive short-term assistance payments while redeterminations or appeals are undertaken.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone successfully pushed for a duty to be placed on government to consider existing evidence before ordering additional assessments for devolved social security benefits.

Labour MSP Mark Griffin successfully proposed an amendment guaranteeing that pensions will not be means tested for winter fuel payments.

Meanwhile, Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour secured support for an amendment redefining “terminally ill” to mean someone in the last two years of their life, rather than the last six months.