See Me Response: Social Security (Scotland) Bill – Call for Evidence

Posted by See Me, 7 September 2017

See Me, alongside over 100 other organisations, has responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee’s call for views on the Social Security Bill.

The Bill sets out principles, rules, and details on how the new social security system will put in place the 11 social security entitlements devolved to Scotland.

See Me’s response, summarised:

  • We want to see tackling inequality at the heart of the social security system and have asked for an additional principle to be added to ensure this.
  • A firm commitment to tackling the in-built discrimination within the system against people with mental health conditions.
  • Ensure that the use of language is clear, particularly around terms like ‘disability’, ‘dignity’, and ‘respect’.
  • We want it to have an explicit commitment to follow the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the human rights PANEL principles.
  • An assurance that the roll-out of the Bill will be assessed after a short and appropriate time-frame.
  • An annual report that evaluates success on each of the Bill’s principles and outlines next steps for progressing them.
  • A clear process where anyone can hold the system to account if it fails them, to ensure people are treated properly.
  • Consideration to be given on how the new system could support volunteering and build on the strength of individuals and communities.
  • A legal right to independent advocacy for people accessing the social security system.
  • Support for the proposals within the National Carers’ Organisations’ Briefing on Carers Allowance.
  • We think people deserve to be meaningfully involved in this process and want to see commitment to collaboration, to work with people and organisations, to make sure the design, delivery and on-going evaluation of the new agency/system works. The work of the Social Security Experience Panels can contribute meaningfully to this.
  • An adequately resourced, independent programme, which can make sure that people in the public and across different sectors can engage and influence with decision makers, on how the new system is put in place.

Many of our asks were decided in consultation with other third sector organisations, to ensure the changes we are asking for would have the biggest benefit and broadest support.

Read the response here