Restore dignity and respect in the benefits system.. or what chance have we got?

DIGNITY and respect. It’s what every human being deserves and should be able to take for granted – unless you are a sick, disabled or workless person forced to claim benefits.

Then, you can be “treated like dirt”, according to one witness who spoke to theScottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee’s inquiry into the future of social security in Scotland.

The report was published this week and I was proud to put my name to it as an SNP member of the committee.

It argues that “dignity and respect” should be at the core of any benefits system put into the control of the Scottish Parliament.

At the moment, all working-age benefits are controlled and distributed by the UK Government through the Department for Work and Pensions .

After the referendum, the Smith Commission agreed to give Scotland control of a few of these – disability benefits, carer’s allowance and the compulsory “work programme”.

There is also some flexibility around the administration of other benefits.

It’s important not to get too carried away here.

Read the rest of my column here.

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