Employment Minister questioned on devolved welfare in Scotland
09 March 2016
The Scottish Affairs Committee holds a one-off evidence session with the Minister of State for Employment to answer questions on the devolution of welfare to Scotland.
Wednesday 9 March 2016, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster
- Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Minister of State for Employment
- Richard Cornish, Devolution Director, Department for Work and Pensions
- Pete Searle, Working Age Director, Department for Work and Pensions
The Scotland Bill will devolve welfare powers to the Scottish Parliament totalling £2.5 billion and covering areas such as employment support, disability and winter fuel benefits. It will also allow new benefits to be created in devolved areas and discretionary top-ups to benefits in reserved areas.
Committee Chair, Pete Wishart, said:
"We are pleased that the minister has agreed to appear before the committee so that we can understand what work has been done to underpin the new welfare powers for the Scottish Parliament. Welfare powers affect some of the most vulnerable members of our society, so it is vital that adequate systems are in place to ensure that it remains an effective safety net.
We will be asking the minister about what preparations have been made for the transfer of powers and what undertakings have been offered between the Scottish and UK governments to ensure the welfare system remains effective in the future.
We are also disappointed that UK Ministers, including Minister Patel, are yet to give evidence before Scottish Parliament committees. We will want to explore this and understand a bit more about why UK Ministers so rarely accept invitations from Scottish committees in areas of joint concern."
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