Johnstone to amend Social Security Bill to reflect cost of living
Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 Jan) confirmed that she will attempt to amend the Scottish Government's proposed Social Security Bill to ensure that devolved benefits rise with the cost of living.
Alison's "annual uprating of assistance" amendment will be considered by the Social Security Committee on Thursday 1 February, and the Green MSP is urging members from other parties to support the change.
"As it stands, the Bill offers no guarantee that Scottish benefits and Scottish top-ups to UK benefits will keep pace with rising prices. This is important as the UK Government's benefits freeze is costing 700,000 Scots households £450 a year, £300m a year in total.
"Social security payments must keep up with rising food, housing and transport costs. That's why my amendment creates a duty for the Scottish Government to review whether Scottish benefits have retained their value and increase them accordingly.
"We have a golden opportunity to take a different approach from the UK's austerity agenda, and I hope MSPs from other parties support the amendment next week."