A Renfrewshire MSP has spoken of how “extremely proud of the route that Scotland is taking” during a recent debate in the Scottish Parliament on the update on delivery of Social Security Benefits.

Since legislation was passed in 2018, the Scottish Government has introduced 12 benefits, 7 of which are new and only available in Scotland.

This includes the Scottish Child Payment, with the SNP describing it as ‘the most ambitious child poverty reduction measure’ in UK.

Natalie Don, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North & West, said: “I am extremely proud of the route that Scotland is taking with our delivery of social security benefits. A compassionate, humane system with dignity, fairness, and respect at its core.

“Like everyone in the SNP we see social security as a human right, not a burden.

“The Scottish Government’s record investment of £3.9 billon in benefit expenditure in 2022-23, which is £360 million above that received by the UK Government, all of which will provide meaningful social security support to over one million people, including low-income families and households, disabled people and carers.

“This is in contrast to the UK welfare state which used to give enough money so that people could just about scrape by but now it doesn’t even do that. The Conservative party’s response to the cost of living crisis has been deemed woefully inadequate by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and that is putting it kindly to be honest.”

She added: “While the SNP look at how to tackle the cost of living crisis and have increased the benefits we are responsible for by 6%, the Labour party merely sit carping on the sidelines and time after time show that they would rather that these powers stayed with the Tories at Westminster, they would rather that the powers over the six week assessment period on Universal Credit, powers over the rape clause, powers that mean children in this country have to use food banks, they want all those powers to remain in the clutches of the Tories in Westminster!

“Renowned for its harshness and degrading nature, the UK benefit system has been condemned by the UN for its callous approach. People in poverty in the United Kingdom in the 21st century have died and that falls at the feet of the U.K. welfare system

“The Scottish Government has established a social security system for Scotland – a brand new public service with the principles of dignity, fairness, and respect at its heart.”

Social security is the largest transfer of powers since devolution.

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