- 10 November 2022
The UK Government are considering means testing disability payments. Today in the Scottish Parliament I asked the Deputy First Minister if the Scottish Government will rule out such an approach here.
The Deputy First Minister pledged to base our system on dignity, fairness & respect. Minister for Social Security, Ben Macpherson, wrote to me within hours categorically ruling out means testing
Full text of question in the Scottish Parliament
Bob Doris (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn)
I have been contacted by constituents who are in receipt of disability benefits. They are worried and alarmed over the comments of the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, who has refused to rule out means testing of disability benefits for claimants elsewhere in the UK. I ask the Deputy First Minister to offer his reassurances to people who are in receipt of such benefits in Scotland that means testing will not be introduced here. Will he consider how either Social Security Scotland or the Scottish Government can reach out to Scottish claimants who are worried to get that message out loud and clear?
The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery (John Swinney)
As Mr Doris will know, when the legislation was put through the Parliament to establish Social Security Scotland and handle the benefits that are now the responsibility of the Scottish Government, we legislated for dignity, compassion and respect to underpin the approach that we would take to the exercise of our responsibilities in relation to social security. I assure Mr Doris and the Parliament that those values will underpin all the actions of Social Security Scotland, and we will communicate them widely, because they are the foundation for any decent and respectful social security system.