Further devolution in Scotland should be underpinned by clear strategic objectives and principles. The merits of any settlement should be judged on the extent to which they provide a realistic opportunity to reduce child poverty and wider socio-economic inequality.
It is vital that devolution of significant social security powers is not considered in isolation. Social security responsibilities need to be coherently linked to the wider range of fiscal, economic and labour market powers, including national minimum wage and parental employment rights. Failure to ensure the links creates a real risk of leaving the Scottish Parliament with responsibility for ‘picking up the pieces’ of poverty generating policies over which it has no control, and within increasingly tight fiscal constraints.
CPAG has not taken a position on constitutional change – rather we have focused our attention on how powers should be used rather than where they lie.
Read our briefing paper outlining our intitial thoughts on devolution here.