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Social Security Secretary Sommerville on UK-Scotland welfare co-operation

9 March 2021

The Scottish Affairs Committee will question the Scottish Government’s Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville on the effectiveness of relations with the Department of Work and Pensions in delivering on Edinburgh’s ambition to reduce levels of poverty.


More than 1 million people in Scotland are living in poverty according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, one quarter of which are children. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has added to the pressure on the welfare system causing a more than two-fold increase in Universal Credit claimants in the country and delaying the roll-out of Child and Adult Disability Payments.

Since 2016 some powers have been devolved to Scotland while others are still responsibilities reserved by the UK Government. How policies and systems of the respective Governments and government departments interact is, therefore, important for effective delivery.

Purpose of the session

Lines of questioning expected to emerge from the evidence session are;

  • intergovernmental co-operation in meeting Scottish Government welfare policy ambitions and inter-operability of Scottish and UK social security systems;
  • help for people struggling to access social security;
  • groups in Scotland particularly vulnerable to poverty.


Thursday 11 March

At 11.30am

  • Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Scottish Government;
  • Catherine Greeves, Social Security Programme Management Office;
  • Callum Smith, Reserved and Working Age Benefits Team Leader, Scottish Government.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright