Published: 30/01/2018 16:03 - Updated: 30/01/2018 16:07

Call for Holyrood to be given full welfare powers

Written byEmma Crichton

 

Scottish Parliament should get full welfare powers says Freeman
Scottish Parliament should get full welfare powers says Freeman
 

 

A senior MSP has asked the UK Government for more control over welfare reform as thousands of people have used support implemented at Holyrood.

Powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament have allowed for choices to be given for universal credit claimants north of the border.

They include the option of fortnightly payments instead of monthly and for the housing element to be paid directly to landlords.

It is supposed to make it easier for people on the controversial new benefits system to manage their budgets and so far 2500 have used the new options, introduced in November.

Scotland’s social security minister Jeane Freeman said: "Our Scottish universal credit choices cannot fix the problems caused by the UK Government however, we are using the limited powers we do have to do what we can to help people facing hardship because of the UK Government decisions.

"The high take-up rate of our universal credit choices is evidence people want more flexibility and adaptability in how they receive the support that they are entitled to."

Ms Freeman is now calling for full responsibility of welfare to be devolved to Holyrood.

"The sooner that comprehensive welfare powers are in the hands of the Scottish Parliament the better because that will mean that we can make decisions that are in the best interest of Scotland and the people we serve."

The Department for Work and Pensions has called universal credit a much-needed reform of the benefits system and that it is helping to get people back into work, adding that most claimants are "comfortably managing" their budgets.

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