Scottish ministers have be forced to reconsider the effects of the proposed welfare reform bills after Holyrood’s health committee claimed that the changes would see Scotland’s most vulnerable receiving less financial aid. The committee has also warned that a separate Scottish legislation may not be introduced in sufficient time. The UK Government, meanwhile, continues to strongly deny claims that the reforms would hit vulnerable people the hardest.
The UK Government claims that the changes to the welfare benefits system, due to be introduced in 2013, will save £7 billion and would encourage those currently receiving benefits to actively seek employment. MSPs will be forced to put forth their vote to enable Westminster to legislate on the reforms for the whole of the UK. The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a warning to the SNP Government against blocking the proposals, claiming that may target key policies such as the blue badge scheme, a scheme that is linked to pre-existing benefits.
The health committee has called for the Scottish Government to bring forth a separate welfare benefits legislation but has the lack of time in which to do so. The committee has stated that the welfare reform bill would still be introduced, even in the event of MSPs voting in opposition to the legislative consent motion.
Duncan Lewis’ welfare benefits solicitors are on hand to provide benefits claimants with the legal support that they require. The department fully understands that the welfare benefits system is complex and ever changing and can help their clients to keep up to speed with changes in the system.