Key benefits will be future-proofed to ensure they hold their value in real terms under Scotland’s new social security system, social security minister Jeane Freeman has said.
Following earlier commitments to have annual rises in Disability and Employment-Injury Assistance, Ms Freeman has ensured those are enshrined in legislation by bringing forward amendments to the Social Security (Scotland) Bill and has supported extending the guarantee to Carers Assistance when the Scottish social security agency takes over delivery of Carer’s Allowance.
Ms Freeman said: “The Social Security Bill is a landmark piece of legislation, which gives us the opportunity to deliver a social security system that treats people with dignity, fairness and respect.
“Today I was delighted to ensure that my commitment to annually uprate disability and employment injury benefits was placed in legislation and that this is extended to carers assistance too.
“In Scotland, 600,000 people are in receipt of disability benefits and I want to ensure they hold their real terms value. In addition I also brought forward amendments to ensure the value of all devolved social security benefits was reviewed every year.
“We have always been clear we will support carers and our guarantee to increase Carer’s Allowance by 13% to bring it into line with UK Jobseeker’s Allowance will be introduced this summer and backdated to April. This is an investment of more than £30 million to support carers, in addition to the new rights introduced under the 2016 Carers (Scotland) Act, and the new Young Carer Grant announced by the First Minister last year.
“I am delighted to see cross party consensus on this issue to back Scotland’s disabled people and carers and ensure this guarantee to future-proof disability and employment injury benefits and carers assistance.”