How will benefits be affected if Scotland gets independence?

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Tesla

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Hey guys,

first off I'd like to ask that this doesn't descend into a political debate, I'm sure we're all fed up of them!  >steam<

What I'd like to know (and have had no luck getting my answers from the indy people) is - Will there be any changes to benefits to people in Scotland if Independence is granted?

I'm beginning to wonder if there is actually an answer to this as every politician I've asked seems to dodge round it.

neurochick

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You won't be able to get an answer to that question anywhere because nobody knows.  It's that simple.  Same as with virtually all of the other questions related to how things will work in the event of a yes vote.  Unless you want a "political" answer of the sort you have already been getting, then it's not even worth asking any questions if you are looking for facts, details or certainty.  It's what makes a genuinely informed choice impossible for voters in the referendum. 

The position is now even less clear because it appears that in the event of a no vote, there will be some further devolution of powers to the existing Scottish parliament.  Benefits have been mentioned as one area for potential devolution but what exactly is devolved will depend on the post referendum negotiations and which party or parties are in power in Westminster the political debates occur and then the enabling legislation goes through Parliament.  That whole process is likely to span the next UK General Election which makes the uncertainty even greater. 




seegee

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The true answer from anybody/ everybody is - er, I dunno, what do you think?  >whistle<  Why would anyone want to know what will probably happen before they vote?  >yikes<

Monic1511

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Hi
Like the rest I have not been able to get a straight answer on what will happen after a yes vote (if thats what happens) There are to be 18 months negotiations where according to the SNP Scotland will have access to Sterling, access to the EU budgets (this bugs me cos my post is funded from EU monies), access to all the taxes from oil and because all of that has gone the way SNP wants then they will be able to pay state benefits at the same levels, although I've been told by some benefit claimants that their money will go up and all you need is a sick line to never have to darken the jobcentre door again.

Obviously I am not saying all that cannot happen its just that no one knows if it can or will happen, an awful lot of people have to do exactly what Scotland wants to the possible detriment of themselves for the white paper to succeed.

I think it come down to a choice or who do you believe and who do you want to gamble on  westminster with its tories/liberals/labour or Holyrood and its snp/tories/liberals/labour politicians.

As I'm working the referendum all I can say is please be patient with the polling staff - we start at 6.30 and stop around 10.30 and there are no designated breaks, we also can't nip out for chips etc so might be a bit grumpy later on  ;-)

best wishes
Monic

Sunshine Meadows

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I am not sure that an independant Scotland could afford to administer complicated benefits like ESA and PIP.

One thing I had not realised was that the population of Scotland is only 5 million so it is going to be important that the people who can work do have jobs.

Andrew Marr was just talking about 2015 possibly being the last chance for us to get a Labour Government which reminded me the further north we go the higher the number of centre ground and left wing voter there are. However it was a Labour Government that created ESA.


Quote
As I'm working the referendum all I can say is please be patient with the polling staff - we start at 6.30 and stop around 10.30 and there are no designated breaks, we also can't nip out for chips etc so might be a bit grumpy later on  ;-)

 >hugs<

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Quote
I am not sure that an independant Scotland could afford to administer complicated benefits like ESA and PIP.

That's a very important point, Sunshine. Here in Northern Ireland the Assembly is still deadlocked over the Welfare Reform Bill, and the issue of how much it would cost to run a separate IT system if we do 'break parity' with GB comes up time and again in debates on the subject. The figure of 1bn and the loss of 15 000 public sector jobs is often quoted, and although Scotland has a significantly larger population and is wealthier than Northern Ireland, running and maintaining a separate benefits system will be a tough challenge.
« Last Edit: 15 Sep 2014 10:15AM by NeuralgicNeurotic »

Tesla

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Thanks for the replies! As I expected - there doesn't seem to be an answer out there! It's very frustrating, but I guess there's nothing we can do.

Fiz

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I saw an interesting article on what the referendum result will now mean for people on benefits in Scotland. Nothing is set in stone and 100% certain but it is very likely that parliament will be pushed to agree to allow Scotland to remove the under occupancy reduction in housing benefit as well as set their own rates of tax plus or minus 10% of the rest of UK's. I do wonder if Scotland do remove the under occupancy reduction in housing benefit, whether that will push the rest of the UK to follow suit because it will cause anger possibly in the rest of the UK?

I live in hope.

Monic1511

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Fiz
in a way the Scottish Government is removing the spare room subsidy without changing the legislation.  What they have done is provided a drip feed of extra monies to the councils with the instruction that these were to be used to supliment the shortfall in HB - my own council has put through 1/2 the spare room subsidy for anyone who applied for a discretionary housing payment from april 2014.  An MSP told a tenant that the council had the spare monies in August to pay the extra but it wasn't released to the council until the first week in Septemeber so between April and September anyone affected by the spare room subsidy had rent arrears rising at half the shortfall,
hopefully that will be wiped now and at the end of the last financial year all arrears directly due to the bedoom tax were wiped.   If you have rent arrears for any other reason you will still be pursued.

Mind you the Labour Lib dems offered legislation in Holyrood that would have closed the bedroom tax legislation in Scotland prior to the Referendum,  The SNP refused to back it, I suspect because they wanted the bedroom tax to be referendum issue.

fun and games in politics is not restricted to westminster - Holyrood is just as bad imo
best wishes
Monic