Thu 2 Mar, 2017

With new powers over some benefits and the ability to top-up reserved benefits, it's important we ensure they keep pace with the cost of living. Alison Johnstone MSP

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (2 March) welcomed comments by Social Security minister Jeane Freeman that she would consider using the forthcoming Social Security Bill to ensure payments keep pace with inflation.

At today's meeting of Holyrood's Social Security committee, Alison pointed out that the UK Government has frozen the rates of some benefits in recent years. Child Benefit, for example, will lose 28 per cent of its value by 2020.

Alison Johnstone, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

"The social security system should support people in need but instead the Westminster Government has used it to push people into deeper hardship by cutting the value of benefits. With new powers over some benefits and the ability to top-up reserved benefits, it's important we ensure they keep pace with the cost of living.

"I'm pleased that the minister agreed to look at using legislation to lock-in the uprating of benefits, to protect against cuts by a future government. When the Social Security Bill comes to Parliament, this is a key measure I would urge all parties to support."

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