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Social Security Committee Inquiry into COVID-19 and Social Security

The Social Security Committee has published its report into how social security can aid Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19.(this will open in a new window)

Key parts of the report are noted below that may of interest.

  • The Committee has called on the UK Government to make permanent the temporary £20 Universal Credit (UC) uplift and has expressed ‘considerable concern’ about the significant number of people unable to access social security support during the pandemic. ‘In our pre-budget letter we joined many calls for the UK Government to retain the £20 increase to the standard allowance in UC and working tax credits, apply this uplift to legacy benefits and review the policy that 16- and 17-year olds are not usually eligible for UC.’
  • The Committee recognised that the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on the poorest in society, and highlights the urgent need to review what has been learned so far to ensure existing services are reformed and new services designed to provide people with the support they need to come through this major economic shock.
  • While praising the unprecedented amount of resource that has been passed to public bodies, local authorities and the third sector to help in response to the pandemic, the Committee express deep concerns about the number of people unable to access any support. The newly self-employed and people with savings are two groups who have not been given sufficient support by the current social security system.
  • Given the main income-replacement benefit (Universal Credit) is reserved to UK Ministers and the interlink between Scottish social security benefits and UK Government DWP benefits, the Committee say it is more important than ever that both Governments work constructively together to respond to this crisis.

The full news release is here.(this will open in a new window)

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