The Scottish Government has announced that the devolution of major social security benefits to Social Security Scotland has been delayed until 2024.
In a ministerial statement to the Scottish Parliament the Social Security Secretary, Shirley-Anne Sommerville, has announced that key social security benefits will be maintained by the DWP until Social Security Scotland has the capability to administer them in 2024.
The Scottish Conservatives have said this exposes the utter hypocrisy of the SNP’s previous statements.
Graham Simpson MSP said “The transition of these benefits must be handled properly – this is about making sure that people get the support they need. They are the priority in all of this. But the minister must see the utter hypocrisy this statement exposes.
“For 2 years the SNP has slammed the DWP. The SNP has used highly charged language on the UK Government’s administration of benefits. The SNP has raised expectations, and promised the earth to some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people.
“After repeated promises that the new system would be up and running by the end of this parliament, we now learn that this will just not happen. And it will be 2024 before PIP’s successor is in place.
“That is 9 years since the Scotland Act that introduced the devolution of social security - from the party that claimed they could set up an independent country within 18 months. Can the minister not see that this is deeply embarrassing? She must apologise to the Scottish DWP staff she has repeatedly denigrated - and now, as she takes over executive competence, whom she asked to keep running benefits for another 5 years on her behalf.”