Social Security

– in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

In the year since the Parliament unanimously passed the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, what progress has been made in establishing Scotland’s newest public service?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

It is a year since the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 was passed. In that year, almost £200 million has been paid out to almost 80,000 people across the country. There are carers who have extra money in their pockets because of our carers allowance supplement, and there are low-income families who are now getting the best start grant. The Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People will correct me if the figure that I am about to give is wrong—in the early days of the best start grant, we paid out something like four times the amount of money that was paid out under the previous system controlled by the Westminster Government.

That is an amazing success. There is much more to do, but at this stage I pay tribute to all those who have worked so hard to create the new social security agency and have made sure that we have made such a positive start to putting fairness and dignity at the heart of social security in Scotland.