2,000 additional employees to be recruited by Scottish social security, confirms Nicola Sturgeon
The Prime Minister said the further devolution of welfare powers to Scotland would create jobs and economic benefits, while treating claimants with “dignity and respect” – something she said was often lacking in the UK ministry of Work and Pensions.
The Scottish Government will take responsibility for paying other benefits over the next year, including a replacement for the Personal Independence Payment which will be called the Adult Disability Payment.
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On Wednesday, during a visit to Social Security Scotland’s new headquarters in Dundee, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘As we delegate more responsibility to the Scottish Parliament to provide services such as social security, we can improve the way in which these services are provided.
“But we can also create economic opportunities because the people providing these services are in Scotland, work in Scotland, pay taxes in Scotland, and therefore we get economic benefits as well as social benefits.”
Ms Sturgeon said plans to increase Scottish Social Security’s workforce by 2,000 – bringing it to around 3,500 – would also ‘equip an organization to deliver benefits in a way that has dignity and respect at its heart, and in fact sees social security not as a burden, but as an investment in the social fabric of the country ”.
The majority of the new positions will be based in Dundee and Glasgow, with staff taking calls from claimants and processing claims for benefits.
Comparing the new organization with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), the SNP chief continued: “So often in my role as constituency MSP, I speak to people whose interactions with the DWP are totally negative.
“They feel it’s a system that stigmatizes them, that tries to prevent them from accessing the support they are entitled to.
“Social Security Scotland’s experience couldn’t be more different.
“It’s support, help and it puts the dignity of the user at the heart of its concerns, so it’s about values and ethics, as well as the practical support that this organization has already provided. “
Asked about the Scottish Government’s delay in accepting powers developed to provide certain benefits, Ms Sturgeon pointed out that it now offered 11 benefits, but acknowledged that it had ‘taken longer than we wanted’.
She added: “In terms of independence, in 2014 we did not have social security in Scotland.
“So the next time Scotland votes on independence, we have an infrastructure that we didn’t have at the time – so in fact we’re already a lot further along the path to independence than in 2014. “
Social Security Scotland Managing Director David Wallace said: “As we welcome over 2,000 additional employees to deliver new benefits and high quality service, we are committed to increasing diversity within the organization. to reflect the customers we are here to serve and their lived experiences.
“We are delighted to be able to create more jobs in Glasgow and at our headquarters in Dundee and I look forward to welcoming colleagues to Agnes Husband House in 2022.”