Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform

CPAG in Scotland along with One Parent Families Scotland, The Poverty Alliance and others co-ordinate the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform (SCoWR). SCoWR was set up in 2006 to highlight the concerns of this diverse coalition of organisations in Scotland about the UK government’s Welfare Reform proposals.

To date a wide range of organisations in Scotland, including Oxfam, Children 1st, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Inclusion Scotland, the STUC and Scottish church groups have signed up. All the organisations agree that our social security system should be reformed to reflect the five principles set out in the SCoWR Manifesto for Change. Any interested organisation or individual is welcome to join. Membership is free and simply involves confirming that you agree with the five principles. Members are welcome to get involved in the campaign steering group if they have the time and resources to do so. There is more information about the work of the steering group in the Terms of Reference document.

Campaign work

In March 2016, SCoWR published a supplement to the Manifesto for Change, with the campaign's priorities for the use of the new powers devolved to Holyrood by the Scotland Act 2016.

In October 2014, SCoWR members met to discuss the Smith Commission, and submitted a summary of the discussion to the Commission's call for evidence.

In August 2014, SCoWR responded to the Scottish Parliamant Welfare Reform Commitee's Call for Evidence on the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill.

In February 2014, SCoWR responded to the consultation on the Scottish Government's draft Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill.

In December 2013, SCoWR responded to the Scottish Government Expert Working Group on Welfare's second call for evidence.

In November 2013, SCoWR launched the refreshed campaign manifesto at an event in Edinburgh.

In April 2013, SCoWR responded to the Scottish Government Expert Working Group on Welfare's first call for evidence.

In March 2013, SCoWR wrote to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament's Welfare Reform Committee regarding rights to challenge decisions under the Council Tax reduction scheme introduced from April 2013.

In October 2012, SCoWR responded to the Scottish Government consultation on changes to passported benefits required due to the introduction of universal credit and personal independence payment.

In June 2012, SCoWR responded to the Scottish Government consultation on replacement arrangements for devolved aspects of the social fund.

In January 2012, SCoWR wrote a letter to Scottish MPs ahead of the return of Welfare Reform Bill to the House of Commons.

In October 2011, SCoWR issued a response to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into the proposal to replace DLA with Personal Independence Payments

In October 2011, SCoWR issued a response to the housing benefit in supported accommodation consultation

In September 2011, SCoWR issued a Welfare Reform Bill 2011 Briefing for the House of Lords

In July 2011, SCoWR issued a response to the SSAC consultation on passported benefits.

In June 2011, SCoWR issued a briefing on the Report Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. They also wrote a letter to MSPs highlighting the challenges that face the Scottish Parliament arising from the UK Welfare Reform Bill.

In February 2011, SCoWR issued their response to the DWP consultation on proposed reforms to DLA.

In March 2010, SCoWR launched their election ‘manifesto’: A Manifesto for Change.

In April 2009, SCoWR issued a briefing in advance of the Lords second reading of the Welfare Reform Bill, calling for a delay in Scotland in the introduction of the Bill’s provisions relating to 'work for your benefit' and the abolition of income support until such time as adequate affordable childcare is in place.

In February 2009, SCoWR issued a briefing supporting amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill tabled by John Roberston MP at Committee Stage in the House of Commons seeking, at the very least, Ministerial commitment not to introduce new “work for your benefit” or “work related activity” conditions until such time as Ministers are satisfied adequate, affordable and flexible childcare exists across Scotland.

In January 2009, SCoWR issued a briefing in advance of the second reading of the Welfare Reform Bill highlighting our concerns that the proposed reforms to welfare provision will fail to tackle poverty and, in some cases, may even exacerbate it.

In October 2008, SCoWR wrote to the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions at the conclusion of the UK Government’s Green Paper on Welfare Reform ‘No-one written off: Reforming welfare to reward responsibility’.

Previously, SCoWR sent a letter to all Scottish MPs in 2006, lobbying them on three areas of particular concern:

  • Compulsion of individuals
  • Adequacy of benefit levels
  • Resources available for reform

In addition a postcard campaign was launched highlighting key concerns about the proposals and urged individuals to use the postcard to contact their MPs. In 2007 the coalition also responded to the Green Paper 'In work, better off'.

For more details about SCoWR or if you are interested in joining the campaign contact:

Satwat Rehman
Director, One Parent Families Scotland
Tel: 0131 556 3899

Peter Kelly
Director, The Poverty Alliance

Tel: 0141 353 0440

John Dickie,
Head of CPAG in Scotland,
Tel: 0141 552 3656