What actions are the SNP taking in Government to mitigate Westminster’s welfare reforms?

The SNP Scottish Government has taken steps to mitigate the worst aspects of Westminster’s welfare reform. Since 2013, the Scottish Government has spent over £100 million a year to protect people from the worst aspects of Tory welfare cuts.

We are fully mitigating the Bedroom Tax in Scotland, and we have pledged to abolish the tax completely when we have the powers to do so.

We established the Scottish Welfare Fund to provide Crisis Grants for when someone experiences a disaster or emergency, and Community Care Grants to enable independent living. Since its establishment the Scottish Welfare Fund has helped more than 403,000 individual households with investment totalling £256.6 million.

We will guarantee the budget for the Scottish Welfare Fund and carry out a review of its purpose and operation to make sure it works as well as possible in all parts of the country.

We have restored Westminster’s cut to Council Tax support through the creation of Council Tax Reductions – protecting the incomes of almost half a million people on low incomes.

Universal Credit is entirely reserved to the UK Government. We are using our very limited powers to support people in how they are paid, protecting people in Scotland. People on Universal Credit in Scotland can opt for Universal Credit Scottish Choices which means they can choose to be paid twice monthly and for their rent to be paid directly to landlords, making it easier for people to manage their money.

Following the UK government decision to scrap the UK-wide scheme, we have safeguarded support for disabled people through the Scottish Independent Living Fund. We have now created an extra £5 million fund to support young disabled people make the transition into adulthood.

We have built Scotland’s new social security system with, for and around the people who use it. At its heart are the principles of dignity, fairness and respect and a belief that social security is an investment in our people. You can read more about this here.