To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they had with the devolved administrations before their announcement of the one-year suspension of the "triple lock" on state pension payment increases.
One of the benefits covered by the Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill - survivors’ benefits in Industrial Death Benefit - is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The Department is temporarily delivering them on behalf of the Scottish Ministers under an Agency Agreement which provides that legislative parity must be maintained, of which there are around 300 recipients of these benefits in Scotland. The Secretary of State therefore wrote to the relevant Cabinet Secretary in the Scottish Government ahead of its introduction seeking a decision on whether they would be taking primary legislation in the Scottish Parliament or through a Legislative Consent Motion to allow this Bill to provide the appropriate powers to enable Scottish Ministers to deliver uprating legislation in tandem. The other benefits in the Bill are reserved matters in Scotland.
Social security is a transferred matter in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Executive has the power in section 132A of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 to mirror the Up-rating Order in Great Britain made under section 150A (in this case, as temporarily amended). Therefore, the draft Bill does not need to extend to Northern Ireland and no primary legislation is required in Northern Ireland. However, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 sets out that the Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland Minister will seek to maintain a single system of social security, to the extent agreed between them. Officials in the Department for Work and Pensions in Great Britain and the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland have therefore been in discussion on the issue.
Social security is a reserved matter in Wales.