There are six weeks left for people across Scotland to have their say on how Scotland’s new social security system should be shaped.

Since the end of July more than 100 events have been organised across the country and hundreds of people have already taken part. Many more events are planned during the next half of the consultation period and the opportunity is there for individuals to make their voices heard.

We asked Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman about the new scheme which will deal with 15% of the payments

The Edinburgh Reporter talking to the Social Security Minister from Phyllis Stephen on Vimeo.

Encouraging everyone to take part before the consultation closes on 28 October, Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said:

“As we pass the half-way mark in the consultation process I am delighted we have had such a huge number of people taking part.

“From one end of the country to the other, I am really encouraged by the number of people who have taken the time to let us know how they want their social security system in Scotland to work.

“Social security is an investment we all make in ourselves and in each other. None of us know when the day might come when we will need that support and thousands of people across Scotland rely on social security – in one form or another.

“We will be responsible for 15% of the total UK benefit budget, but that still affects one in four of us and we want to make sure the new system in Scotland truly reflects the values of dignity, fairness and respect. That’s why it’s so important that the people who use or could use the social security system and the benefits that we will be delivering have a say in shaping it.

“I want to hear from people about their experience of the system as it is now and how the Scottish Government can improve it – so please make sure you have your say before 28 October.

“There are different ways for you to do this – either online or by post – so you can choose which one suits you. The most important thing is as many people as possible take the opportunity to really make a difference and have their voices heard.”

Green MSP Alison Johnstone said: “At an event with the Glasgow Disability Alliance last week, the Social Security Minister decried the limitations of the social security powers being devolved. I agree with her that the emerging system, split between Holyrood and Westminster, is likely to prove more complex to administer than social security in an independent Scotland.

“But this does not mean that the new powers don’t offer huge potential to restore fairness to social security after years of heartless and mindless cuts by Westminster.