Govan Law Centre has accepted an invitation to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee Passport Benefits enquiry on Thursday 14 June. We will be giving evidence as part of a panel, yet to be agreed.
GLC have worked in the area of social security law for over 2 decades, we remain one of the key welfare rights organisations in Scotland, and we are delighted that Jennifer Brennan, our new Welfare Rights Worker is part of our team. She has a busy caseload doing advice, assistance and representation at tribunal. And, with the help of Jennifer, GLC solicitors take appeal cases through the courts.
GLC do take on social security test cases in Scotland. It is an area that England has always been more active over the years. And it is an area we need focus on even more in Scotland – especially now that a substantial section of social security law and 11 benefits are being transferred to Scottish Parliament control.
We are told that the committee expects to discuss:
· whether the link between social security benefits and passported benefits should be maintained
· whether local delivery, without local discretion on eligibility, is preferred or whether more flexible criteria or centralised delivery is sought
· whether the devolution of disability benefits could reduce barriers to accessing passported benefits
· whether any changes to the Motability scheme are needed
· the income thresholds for passporting from UC
These are important issues and GLC will help the committee’s work. However we will also want to ensure that issues that we work with day to day are raised. We will keep you informed of developments.