Fair, equal and responsive

News — By on December 5, 2017 10:15 am

Designing a Social Security System for Scotland

The CAB service has a unique role in Scotland. No other charity offers direct help to so many people over such a wide variety of problems and across the whole of Scotland. Our on-the-ground experience and extensive evidence base puts us in an ideal position to set out a vision for how Scotland should use its new social security powers.

The aim of the social security system should be to provide a coherent, fair safety net for the citizens of Scotland in order to achieve a more equal and socially just society.

Ultimately, every Scottish citizen should be able to access the essentials for living and be treated in a dignified manner by society.

Over the coming years, the Scottish Parliament will be given new powers over certain areas of the social security system in Scotland including:



  • Benefits for carers, disabled people and those who are ill
  • Certain flexibilities in relation to Universal Credit
  • Funeral Payments
  • Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments
  • Discretionary Housing Payments
  • Employment programmes.In doing so, we have been able to draw on the considerable experience of Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) in supporting clients through the social security system: in 2014/15, our CAB network dealt with 220,000 new benefits and tax credits issues representing 37% of their work.¬†Further and more detailed recommendations on each of the areas listed above can be found in the accompanying reports below. https://www.cas.org.uk/publications/fair-equal-and-responsive
  • The devolution of these new powers offers a vital opportunity to begin to craft a fair, equal and responsive social security system for Scotland. This paper sets out our overall vision of how this could be achieved.
  • Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has been working with our member bureaux across Scotland to consider how these new powers could be used.
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