Welfare Powers

 

Payments made for Funeral Grants under the Regulated Social Fund are woefully insufficient to meet the costs of even a very basic funeral. Not even half of the expenses are covered under the Grant.  This puts the poorest people into an automatic debt situation. There should be agreement between funeral directors and the Scottish Government for an agreed cost of a basic funeral and this should be available through the Funeral Grant


Why the contribution is important

 

The engagement of third-party providers to conduct certain services on behalf of the Secretary of State, e.g. health and disability assessments and work programme provision, has seen accountability within the system diminish with the move towards ‘black boxing’ provision. A new public sector commitment to fairness, transparency and value for money should be applied in resourcing provision – particularly where providers have a track-record of poor performance (e.g. ATOS Work Capability Assessments and subsequent awarding of competitive tenders for PIP) they should be disqualified from future tendering

 

The establishment of a Scottish Social Security Advisory Committee to provide independent advice and expertise on welfare reform could be established on a permanent, semi-permanent or ad-hoc basis, with a legal obligation to consult the Committee on the establishment of new benefits or the restructuring of existing rules

 

There is the risk of a perceived disparity between Scotland and the remainder of the United Kingdom where rules diverge; this would be no more of a difficulty than explaining the differences between free personal care for the over 65’s and free prescription


 


 


by Paula on December 24, 2015 at 08:30AM

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