SCoWR briefing on the Report Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill

In July 2011, SCoWR issued a response to the SSAC consultation on passported benefits. This response draws on the SCoWR manifesto to link the consultation questions to the five key principles for welfare reform agreed by our diverse membership:1. Increase benefit rates to a level where no one is left in poverty and all have sufficient income to lead a dignified life

2. Make respect for human rights and dignity the cornerstone of welfare reform

3. Radically simplify the welfare system

4. Invest in the support needed to enable everyone to participate fully in society

5. Make welfare benefits in Scotland, suitable for Scotland

SCoWR suggest any universal credit entitlement should give access to all passported benefits. As a Scottish campaign we hope that this is the approach that the Scottish Government will choose to take to passported benefits under universal credit, given that responsibility for them is devolved. However, our concern is with how the welfare state impacts on citizens, and we see this as an opportunity to reduce administrative costs for government; and complexity from the perspective of claimants and thus boost take up, wherever people live.