UK and Scottish government ministers met again today [Tuesday 11 October 2016] as part of the ongoing process to transfer the remaining welfare powers under the Scotland Act 2016.
The group has a rotating chair and this meeting was led by Angela Constance, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities. Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Employability and Training, also attended for the Scottish Government.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Damian Green, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, represented the UK Government. It was Damian Green’s first meeting of the group since being appointed to the Department for Work and Pensions in July.
The group discussed matters of mutual interest, including progress achieved to date on devolved employability programmes and the next steps towards delivery of these powers from April 2017.
Ministers also discussed ongoing work around Scottish ministers’ commitment to pay extra to recipients of Carer’s Allowance in Scotland and a future approach to joined-up communications on implementation of the Scotland Act 2016.
On the transfer of the remaining welfare sections in the Act, ministers agreed the next steps which will see the Scottish Parliament taking responsibility for these, with a commitment to hearing a further update at the next joint ministerial meeting.
Speaking after the meeting, Angela Constance, Jamie Hepburn, David Mundell and Damian Green said:
We made further progress at today’s meeting which focused on the range of important issues at the core of implementation of the new powers.
We were pleased to be able to agree that work should progress on the commencement of the remaining welfare sections in the Scotland Act.
There remains significant work to do but we have maintained our commitment to constructive dialogue and cooperation which has led to the significant pace of progress made to date.