New Clause 34 — Power to create other new benefits

Scotland Bill (Programme) (No.2) – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 9th November 2015.

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‘(1) The Scotland Act 1998 is amended as follows.

(2) In Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5, in the Exceptions, after exception 9 (see section [Welfare foods] above) insert—

Exception 10Schemes which provide assistance for social security purposes to or in respect of individuals by way of benefits and which—

(a) are supported from sums paid out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund,

(b) do not fall within exceptions 1 to 9, and

(c) are not connected with reserved matters (other than matters reserved only by virtue of this Section).

This exception does not except providing assistance by way of pensions to or in respect of individuals who qualify by reason of old age.This exception does not except providing assistance where the requirement for it arises from reduction, non-payability or suspension of a reserved benefit as a result of an individual’s conduct (for example, non-compliance with work-related requirements relating to the benefit) unless—

(a) the requirement for it also arises from some exceptional event or exceptional circumstances, and

(b) the requirement for it is immediate.

For the purposes of this exception “reserved benefit” means a benefit which is to any extent a reserved matter. In this exception the reference to schemes supported from sums paid out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund does not include schemes—

(a) in respect of which sums are at some time paid out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund, but

(b) which are directly supported from payments out of the Consolidated Fund, the National Insurance Fund or the Social Fund, or out of money provided by Parliament.”

(3) Schedule 4 (enactments etc protected from modification) is amended as follows.

(4) In paragraph 2, at the end insert—

“(5) Sub-paragraph (3) does not affect sub-paragraph (1) as it applies to an Act of the Scottish Parliament so far as any matter to which a provision of the Act relates falls within exception 10 of Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5.”

(5) In paragraph 3, at the end insert—

“(3) Sub-paragraph (1) does not affect the application of paragraph 2 to modifications which are incidental to, or consequential on, any provision, if it is only by virtue of exception 10 of Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 that the provision does not relate to reserved matters.”” .

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(Stephen Barclay.)

This amendment creates a new exception to the social security reservation to provide the Scottish Parliament with new powers to create new benefits. It provides competence to legislate for social security benefits the cost of which is to be met from the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.