We urge the Scottish Government to take the following important steps to improve devolved social security.  Working with other groups like Action Against Austerity and We are all Daniel Blake, ECAP aim to help create a movement strong enough to insist the new devolved powers are used to make positive changes, in the face of the onslaught on social security from the Tory government in Westminster.

  • Drop the Tory mandatory reconsideration system from the new Scottish Social Security Bill – the appalling results of this complicated two-stage appeals system were vividly shown in “I Daniel Blake”. Claimants refused benefits must be able to immediately lodge an appeal to an independent tribunal. This would still give the opportunity for the decision to be reviewed internally before going to appeal.

  • Drop the punitive measures in the Social Security Bill which could result in claimants who make an innocent mistake being prosecuted for fraud. In the current UK system the state needs to show there was deliberate fraud – in the proposed Scottish system claimants could be taken to court if they “ought to have known” they should have reported a change in their circumstances. The Government must also drop the measure in the bill which allows the state to demand repayment of benefits overpaid due to official error.

  • Raise Carers Allowance to the level of Pension Credit – currently £159.35 – as a move towards paying carers a living wage.

  • The Scottish Government must keep their promise for no compulsion or sanctions linked to the employability schemes in Scotland. Scottish Colleges must stop running compulsory DWP courses.

  • Benefits should be increased annually in the same way as the State Pension triple-lock

We recognise that to win these demands we must organise at the grass-roots, and be prepared to take action when necessary. Join us!

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