In yet another tale of two Governments, Holyrood’s Social Security Committee has slammed the UK Tory Government for ignoring calls from members to chance the UK welfare system, particularly in relation to Universal Credit.
In its report on the Scottish Government’s response to the pandemic, committee members criticised Westminster for not heeding calls to make the £20 Universal Credit uplift permanent, extend increases to legacy benefits, scrap the five-week wait and abolish the two-child limit.
Members of the committee were also critical of the DWP Secretary Therese Coffey, who did not accept a single invitation to attend an evidence session – despite the interdependencies of Scotland and the UK’s social security system.
The SNP Scottish Government was praised by the committee for its reaction to the pandemic and the introduction of funding for carers, the Scottish Welfare Fund and Food Fund.
Commenting, Shona Robison MSP (pictured) said:
“Despite numerous calls from both the Scottish Government and the Social Security committee, our recommendations on welfare reform have fallen on deaf ears.
“The lack of engagement from the DWP with the committee demonstrates the lack of respect the Tories have for our Scottish Parliament.
“Our committee has sought reasonable recommendations to help improve the lives of the most vulnerable families in Scotland, but there has been no action taken by the Tories.
“Again, this demonstrates the tale of two governments, with the SNP working with the people and introducing progressive policies such as the Best Start Grant, Best Start Foods and the ‘game-changing’ Scottish Child Payment.
“Whereas, the Tories are more interested in punishing those that need it most.
“The SNP Scottish Government has been helping the most vulnerable with one hand tied behind its back.
“The only way we can fully support everyone who needs it is with the full powers of independence, and the only way to deliver that is with Both Votes SNP in May.”