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Publication - Research Publication

Analysis of written responses to the consultation on social security in Scotland

Published: 22 Feb 2017
Part of:
Equality and rights, Research
ISBN:
9781786527912

Analysis of responses to a public consultation to inform the content of the new Scottish Social Security Bill.

331 page PDF

2.3MB

331 page PDF

2.3MB

Contents
Analysis of written responses to the consultation on social security in Scotland
3. Delivering social security in Scotland

331 page PDF

2.3MB

3. Delivering social security in Scotland

Proposals for delivering social security in Scotland

3.1 The Scottish Government set out its proposals for delivery social security in Scotland in Part 1 of the consultation document.

Question - Should the social security agency administer all social security benefits in Scotland? Please explain your answer.

Table 3.1 Should the social security agency administer all social security benefits in Scotland?
Yes No
Respondent group Number % Number % Total
Individuals 118 90% 13 10% 131
Organisations 82 77% 25 23% 107
All respondents answering 200 84% 38 16% 238

Note: A full breakdown of responses by respondent group is included in Annex 2 (available to download separately as part of this publication).

3.2 238 respondents answered the closed part of this question. The majority of those that responded (84%) felt that the social security agency should administer all social security benefits in Scotland. Support was slightly higher amongst individuals than organisations. Local authority respondents were the only respondent group to mostly (77%) answer no.

3.3 222 respondents provided further comments (105 individuals and 117 organisations). Respondent comments suggest they may have interpreted this question in quite different ways. Some seemed to understand the question as asking 'should the social security agency administer all newly devolved benefits?', and others interpreted it as 'should the social security agency administer all benefits, including those currently administered by DWP and local authorities?'.

Reasons for answering 'yes'

3.4 Overwhelmingly, individuals felt strongly that delivery of social security should be managed by a Scottish social security agency, with some saying that they wanted all benefits (not just devolved benefits) to be delivered this way.

3.5 Individuals and organisations who were in favour of the social security agency administering all benefits explained that this approach would or should ensure:

  • a single point of access or "one stop shop" for service users;
  • a simpler, streamlined, more efficient system;
  • improved consistency and less chance of a "postcode lottery";
  • better integration, joint working and data sharing;
  • more accountability;
  • implementation of minimum service delivery standards;
  • less chance of error or fraud; and
  • less repetition and duplication for service users.

"The simpler the system is, the better for everyone."
Individual

"This approach will mean standards can be put in place so that there is a clear level of responsibility which the agency will be accountable for and should be monitored on."
National Deaf Children's Society

"It would be easier for claimants to deal with only one agency for all the different benefits they claim. It would also be easier to administer the different benefits under one agency and would help cut down on mistakes and fraud."
Individual

"There may be three systems working simultaneously during the transition period: legacy benefits, Universal Credit UK elements and the Scottish System. We therefore believe that there will need to be specific work carried out to ensure the transition years do not result in people in need slipping through the social security net."
Homeless Action Scotland

3.6 Some supporting respondents commented that private or profit-making organisations should not be involved in administering or delivering benefits under the new system. A few respondents also mentioned that a single agency delivering benefits would be the best way to ensure a culture of dignity and respect across the system and would also be cost effective.

Reasons for answering 'no'

3.7 Those who said 'no' were often concerned about additional bureaucracy. There was recognition that under the proposed system there would be at least three different agencies delivering benefits: DWP, a Scottish social security agency and local authorities. A few respondents thought this might be confusing for people accessing the system, and that ideally, all benefits should be delivered by a single agency.

3.8 Many (mostly local authority respondents), felt that local authorities would be well placed to deliver devolved benefits as they already have experience and infrastructure delivering a number of benefits. A few others were concerned that allowing local authorities to deliver benefits could result in inconsistencies and were unsure how the social security budget would be protected given recent cuts to local authority budgets.

"Local authorities have a proven track record for delivering centralised benefits in a localised responsive way to meet the needs of its citizens."
Dumfries and Galloway Council

"Councils do not have the capacity to deliver social security benefits on this scale. Many carers do not trust them e.g. given their experiences of social care."
Carers Trust Scotland

3.9 Some noted that any new system would need to work effectively with the reserved benefits systems, but should also be set up to accommodate any benefits that may become devolved in the future.

Question - Should the social security agency in Scotland be responsible for providing benefits in cash only or offer a choice of goods and cash?

3.10 238 respondents provided comments relating to this question (116 individuals and 122 organisations).

Cash only / cash default

3.11 The majority of respondents to this question indicated that they were in favour of cash only or cash as the default option, with the option of goods or vouchers available, but not forced. They felt that cash was preferable because it:

  • allows people choice and flexibility;
  • encourages greater independence and empowerment; and
  • is in line with the principles of dignity and respect.

"The benefit of cash will always be its flexibility to be used for anything, whether that is an aid or appliance, a taxi to the hospital or to work, or to pay the energy bills. Flexibility allows for choice, but also allows claimants to live an independent life."
Citizens Advice Scotland

"Cash = Dignity and respect in my opinion. To do otherwise is to patronise and belittle claimants, suggesting they are incapable of managing their own finances."
Individual

"We advocate payment in cash as default, as to do otherwise undermines the principles of dignity and respect and denies recipients the ability to choose what they do with their payment. If the system is built upon the principles of dignity, respect and equality denying those with an entitlement payment in cash would be contradictory, potentially disempowering to citizens and reinforce the power imbalance."
Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector

3.12 Some of those in favour of cash noted that there could be clear exceptions to the rule, such as the Motability scheme.

3.13 Where respondents were actively against cash payments, the main reasons stated were that it could be misused or may not be sufficient to meet their needs.

Goods and cash

3.14 A large number of respondents were in favour of a mixture of goods and cash. They felt that goods or services were preferable because they were:

  • better value for money through bulk procurement;
  • more convenient; and
  • helpful for people not confident or capable of managing their budget.

"Generally, benefits should be in cash. However, it could be helpful to offer goods as an alternative to cash through providing access to certain national public sector contracts ( e.g. domestic furnishings contract used by Scottish Welfare Fund). Fundamentally people should have choices."
Argyll and Bute Council

"There should be a range of options available for people to make the choice that best suits their individual circumstances. Providing cash enables people to make their own choices and providing goods should complement cash benefits rather than replace them."
The British Association of Art Therapists

3.15 Areas where respondents felt goods or services (in lieu of cash) were particularly useful included:

  • motability;
  • housing adaptations;
  • housing costs; and
  • energy costs.

3.16 Some respondents also noted that providing goods directly would reduce the chance for social security money to be misused. A few respondents noted that if goods are offered, provision should be through local third sector or social enterprise, where possible.

3.17 Respondents who were against the use of goods and vouchers felt that this option would stigmatise people and limit their choice. There were also concerns raised that offering goods or vouchers from a limited range of suppliers would leave claimants vulnerable to exploitation and implies that they cannot be trusted.

"Provision of financial benefits to which claimants have a statutory entitlement allows people to exercise choice to prioritise spending and make decisions about dealing with particular barriers. Provision of goods or vouchers restricts choice and may lead to stigma as claimants are identifiable."
Parkhead Citizens Advice Bureau

Question - How best can we harness digital services for social security delivery in Scotland?

3.18 187 respondents answered this question (92 individuals and 95 organisations).

3.19 The main themes emerging were:

  • digital services should be part of a range of options;
  • barriers need to be reduced;
  • support and access arrangements; and
  • data sharing opportunities.

Digital services as part of a menu of options

3.20 Generally, whilst many respondents were positive about the potential for digital services, a large number stressed that digital services are not suitable or appropriate for everyone, and other options should be available. Many reiterated their feelings that digital should be part of a wide range of ways that people access and communicate with social security services, but should not be the default or only option. A few respondents felt that access to digital services should be the preferred option, but acknowledged that this should not be to the detriment of other methods.

"Digital access to services should be offered as an option as it will offer convenience to many and is likely to be cost efficient."
Falkirk Council

"The Scottish Government should continue to promote and drive forward their digital inclusion agenda, but they should make alternative methods of contact readily available to complement their digital communications platforms."
Lead Scotland

3.21 The benefits of digital services were felt to be around improved efficiency, application processing and information sharing and data usage. Respondents felt that digital services could play a role in improving the accessibility of information and services e.g. for people using British Sign Language. They also noted that digital services could improve data sharing, but that this would need to be done carefully and with consent. Some commented on the potential to use email, video link, text, apps and social media to engage.

3.22 A few respondents specifically mentioned the use of online application forms or accounts, where people could track and manage their benefits. It was felt that this could be a good use of digital services, provided the system was efficient, practical and secure. In particular, a few respondents mentioned that it would be useful to be able to save partly completed application forms and return to them at a later date, which is not possible under the current online application system.

Reducing barriers

3.23 Some respondents noted that not everyone has skills or access to digital services and that people should not be excluded because they do not use digital technology. People who may not use digital included: older people, people who have not developed skills, people with learning disabilities, people from socially excluded or disadvantaged backgrounds and people from rural areas with limited internet access.

3.24 A few respondents cited the Scottish Household Survey and Scottish Government review of access to digital participation to demonstrate that compared to the general population, many people needing social security ( e.g. older or disabled people) do not use digital technology.

"Digital services are great for public bodies and those who can access them easily, but some people can't afford tablets/computers and others struggle physically getting to a library or facility to use a computer."
Individual

"It will be very important that the use of digital services in social security does not result in unequal and discriminatory behaviour to older citizens."
Scottish Care

"However, in so doing it must be mindful of the fact that many from the furthest to reach communities do not access the internet. Nearly one in ten adults in the UK have never used the internet, including 27% of disabled adults."
Marie Curie

Support and access

3.25 Some respondents mentioned the need for strong support and increased resources in order for a digital system to be successfully implemented. They felt that staff should be available to help people develop digital literacy and that digital resources should be easily accessible to people in their local area.

3.26 Access was a key issue, with many respondents discussing the importance of good internet and computer access across the country, before people can be expected to opt for digital services. Respondents said that internet access (available, reliable, affordable) in rural areas needed to be improved before people could be expected to opt for digital services.

3.27 Respondents also noted that the format and medium of digital services needs to be accessible. A few respondents said that digital services would need to be compatible with existing systems and devices. A few mentioned that people using and delivering the system should be involved in designing a digital service.

"Any digital services leveraged are contingent on accessibility. Without provisions to ensure that all citizens have the hardware, infrastructure and training to access digital services will make the utility of such digital services redundant."
Individual

"Not only is not everyone IT literate, but many people are simply unable to access the internet because they don't have it at home and there are limited other options available."
The Poverty Alliance

Potential for data sharing

3.28 Some respondents felt that digital services could be helpful for data sharing, provided it was done carefully and with consent. A few respondents raised concerns over data security and wanted to ensure that any digital system was well designed by experts. Generally, respondents discussing an online system or platform wanted it to be safe, efficient and easy to use.

"There may also be opportunity for the new social security agency to consider how it can better utilise data collected through digital services to effectively target and allocate resources and help align service delivery models with identified local needs and strategic priorities."
Crohn's and Colitis UK

"The drive towards digital public services presents positive opportunities for both citizens and the public sector in Scotland. It also presents a risk as more personal information is capable of being attacked in the digital realm. The Commissioner expects robust cyber security measures to be built into any system design, whether for hardware, software, apps or online communication channels such as email or live chat."
Information Commissioner's Office

Question - Should social security in Scotland make some provision for face to face contact? Please explain your answer.

Table 3.2 Should social security in Scotland make some provision for face to face contact?
Yes No
Respondent group Number % Number % Total
Individuals 128 97% 4 3% 132
Organisations 123 100% 0 0% 123
All respondents answering 251 98% 4 2% 255

Note: A full breakdown of responses by respondent group is included in Annex 2 (available to download separately as part of this publication).

3.29 255 respondents answered this question. Almost all respondents answering this question felt that there should be provision for face to face contact. All organisations responding supported this provision.

3.30 245 respondents provided further comments (117 individuals and 128 organisations). Given the very high level of support, these largely set out reasons for having some face to face contact.

3.31 The main themes emerging were:

  • the importance of choice and options;
  • the value of face to face contact for particular groups;
  • early access;
  • the importance of staff skills and attitudes; and
  • challenges.

The importance of choice

3.32 One of the main reasons for supporting face to face contact emphasised the importance of having this as a choice. A large number of respondents reiterated this, and that people should always be allowed to communicate in the format that suits them best.

"During our research with citizens…there was an overwhelming view that understanding and empathy can only be achieved through face to face contact - telephones are impersonal and allow the staff member, the person who ultimately has the power in the situation, to make decisions without considering the citizens as a person."
Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector

"There should be provision for face to face contact, but as stated in answer to the previous question, this should not be a mandatory requirement. It should be one of a range of options for individuals to select which method of contact is suitable for their needs."
Action for M.E

The importance of face to face contact for some groups

3.33 The other main reason for supporting face to face contact related to the needs of particular groups. A large number of respondents said that not providing an option for face to face contact would exclude those who cannot access other formats, and would likely exclude some of the most vulnerable people in society. There was an appreciation that face to face contact might not suit all people, particularly those on the autistic spectrum, with mental health conditions or with restricted mobility. And a few respondents noted that there should not be a requirement for people to attend face to face appointments unless absolutely necessary, as this can cause stress and anxiety.

"I think that social security in Scotland should definitely make some provision for face to face contact. Sometimes such contact can be more humanising and can sometimes also facilitate clearer communication and better, quicker decisions. Also, some people find using the telephone or digital options difficult and I think it's important that there is as much choice as possible."
Individual

3.34 Again, respondents emphasised the need for choice and flexibility in how people use social security services. For example, within 'face to face' contact respondents noted that there should be options for home visits if people cannot travel to a meeting.

"Different people require a different approach to the assessment process…The key to effective assessment is understanding the individual's circumstances from their claim and judging the best way to carry out the assessment. More use of home visits would be welcomed, rather than expecting people with disabilities and impairments to attend assessment in buildings that are often a long way away and also have limited accessibility."
The Salvation Army

Early access

3.35 Supporters of face to face contact also felt that having this early on would help save time in the long run. They felt it was easier for people to explain their situation, and for staff to understand it, when spoken directly and in person. They also felt that face to face contact would ensure that people understood all their rights and responsibilities, and had access to everything they are entitled to.

3.36 Many, particularly individuals, noted the benefits of human contact in service provision and the value of building rapport for people to feel comfortable.

"People need to be able to speak to a human being in person if they wish to do so in order to feel that they are valued and listened to."
Individual

"Not everyone can use a computer or even telephone easily. Sometimes having a real person available to help you can make a colossal difference."
Individual

The importance of staff skills and attitudes

3.37 On a more general point, respondents mentioned that where face to face contact took place, staff should be highly trained, well informed and understanding of individual circumstances, maintaining dignity, confidentiality and respect. This was particularly important as some respondents said that bad experiences of face to face contact were off putting and stressful for people using social security services.

"People need to feel listened to, and to ask questions directly of someone who can and will answer them. The value of such contact of course depends on the training and attitude of the person providing that contact."
Families Outside

Challenges of face to face contact

3.38 In their comments, some respondents who supported face to face contact noted that provision of face to face contact was expensive and resource intensive, and so should only be used when absolutely necessary.

Reasons for answering 'no'

3.39 The individuals who said 'no' felt that:

  • other formats should be the default, with face to face as an exception if needed;
  • face to face contact and repeated assessments can be stressful for some people; and
  • if a sufficient 'citizen's income' (a concept in which every citizen is given a basic income to meet their needs) was introduced there would be no need for contact with a social security system.

Question - Who should deliver social security medical assessments for disability related benefits?

3.40 249 respondents answered this question (127 individuals and 122 organisations).

3.41 The main themes emerging were:

  • professional involvement, skills and knowledge;
  • information sharing opportunities;
  • preferences for particular types of organisations to be involved; and
  • dignity and respect.

Professional involvement

3.42 Overall, respondents said they wanted assessments to be conducted by qualified medical professionals with expertise in specific conditions. A large number of respondents felt that this could be done by doctors ( e.g. GPs, consultants), occupational therapists or other NHS staff. Respondents acknowledged that there may be a conflict of interest if an individual's own doctor is involved in decision making, and that the NHS has limited capacity to meet assessment demands.

3.43 Respondents said that professionals with specialist knowledge would reach accurate decisions more quickly and would lower the burden on the individual to explain their condition. A few respondents mentioned that conditions can fluctuate, and decisions should reflect the variation in individual capabilities that may vary.

"Where an assessment is appropriate this should be carried out by a healthcare professional with relevant expertise of the disability…Assessments should treat people with dignity and respect and should recognise the barriers that pain and fatigue present."
Nourish Scotland

"Whoever it is should have access to professional knowledge about individual specific conditions when required. This knowledge does not sit with one particular person or job."
Bobath Scotland

3.44 Some felt that assessments should be conducted by a familiar person that knows the individual and their condition. They felt this would make the process more comfortable for the individual and provide a more accurate outcome.

Information sharing

3.45 Respondents said that, where possible, information already held by various agencies should be used to make an assessment, as a face to face assessment will not always be necessary. Some also commented that assessments should be conducted locally and should be flexible to accommodate individual needs.

Views on organisational types

3.46 Generally, respondents felt that assessments should be delivered through a non-profit, non-privatised public sector organisation, with some recommending that it should be a branch of the NHS or the social security agency itself. Some mentioned the challenges and negative experiences with the private companies that are currently contracted to deliver assessments. They had concerns about target driven models and wanted any new approach to assessments to be independent of targets or profit. A few felt that assessment should be delivered by a completely independent organisation and a few felt that local authorities could have a role to play, particularly with regards to integrating health and social care assessments.

"Public sector - NHS, social services or a dedicated team within the new social security agency. Trust in private contractors is justifiably low and profitmaking from social security is not in keeping with principle 5."
Individual

Dignity and respect

3.47 Some respondents also said that it was important for assessments to uphold the principles of dignity and respect. They felt that individuals should be treated with sensitivity throughout assessments and that people conducting assessments should have a wider understanding of the social model of disability.

"It is important that all of those involved in conducting medical assessments are fully trained medical professionals with the skill to not only recognise and properly assess conditions which might impact on an individual's capacity for work, but also the 'soft skills' required to treat people with the respect and dignity that has been reported to have been lacking under the current system."
Children in Scotland

Question - Should we, as much as possible, aim to deliver social security through already available public sector services and organisations? Please explain your answer.

Table 3.3 Should we, as much as possible aim to deliver social security through already available public services and organisations?
Yes No
Respondent group Number % Number % Total
Individuals 89 73% 33 27% 122
Organisations 61 71% 25 29% 86
All respondents answering 150 72% 58 28% 208

Note: A full breakdown of responses by respondent group is included in Annex 2 (available to download separately as part of this publication).

3.48 208 respondents answered the closed part of this question. Most (72%) thought that social security should be delivered through existing public sector services and organisations. Disagreement came mainly from advice and support organisations, a minority of disability and long term conditions organisations, and a few equalities and human rights organisations. Of the main groups that responded, advice and support organisations disagreed overall.

3.49 When asked to explain their answer, 200 respondents (101 individuals and 99 organisations) provided further comments. Generally, respondents reiterated the need for a social security system that is consistent, person-centred and upholds the principles of dignity and respect. Most respondents felt this could be achieved by delivering social security through existing public services, but some felt that it could be better for the new social security agency to deliver services.

Reasons for answering 'yes'

3.50 Respondents mentioned the following benefits of delivering social security through already available public sector services and organisations:

  • already have existing infrastructure, skills and expertise;
  • likely to be more cost effective than setting up a new delivery organisation;
  • people are already familiar with the organisations and how to access them;
  • would promote further integration and joined-up working;
  • would facilitate data sharing through existing data sets; and
  • could use local public sector services to deliver localised services.

"Public sector organisations and services have the resources, skills, governance and infrastructure to deliver new services in a cost effective and efficient model. The wealth of experience and breadth of skills that already exist within local authorities should be put to best use."
Highland Council

Potential challenges

3.51 Respondents who answered both 'yes' and 'no' also highlighted challenges of using already available public sector services:

  • some people may associate with negative experiences and perceptions;
  • concern over capacity and resources of already strained public sector services;
  • would need to embed new principles into established organisations; and
  • risk of 'postcode lottery' if services are delivered locally.

3.52 Some respondents felt that the new social security agency had a role in overseeing and managing the system, whilst others felt that it should also take on the duty to deliver services. They felt this would provide a 'fresh start' and help ensure that the system is fair and standardised across Scotland.

"A new social security body could be a fresh start for social security in Scotland and could avoid inheriting any negative associations from existing bodies."
Nourish Scotland

"The new system needs to avoid being affected by the toxicity of the current benefits regime, and therefore needs to start from a blank sheet of paper."
Individual

"We need a clean sweep and a new Social Security body set up with as little connection to the old regime as possible."
Individual

"We should use this opportunity to create a new social security agency that will undertake the responsibilities of delivering social security. This will ensure we have a clearly defined chain of accountability to ensure a cohesive implementation that can be managed and targeted where needed."
Individual

3.53 Some respondents felt that introducing a new agency for delivering social security might be confusing and complicated, as people already need to engage with a number of different agencies to access social security.

"People in difficult circumstances are often required to engage with multiple agencies, which can be confusing, time consuming, and inefficient. Any streamlining of this would be welcome, especially where other services and organisations have a more holistic view of a person's circumstances."
Families Outside

3.54 As before, respondents were in favour of public over private sector delivery, particularly due to the scrutiny, transparency and accountability required of public sector services.

"Social security is one of these areas which is too important to be outsourced to the private sector in any capacity. As soon as you introduce a profit motive, compassion goes out the window."
Individual

Mixed views

3.55 In their comments, some respondents (including those who answered 'yes' and 'no') identified both pros and cons for delivering through already available public sector services. They reiterated the need for a social security system that makes use of existing assets and provides a fair, efficient system for the public.

"A difficult one - of course it is good to use already available organisations, but it would also be good to streamline the system so that the client only has to deal with one organisation, preferably one person (with of course the option of requesting someone else if that relationship doesn't work)."
Individual

"There should be a hybrid, person-centred service to suit the needs of individual."
Mydex Data Services Community Interest Company

Question - Should any aspect of social security be delivered by others such as the 3rd sector, not for profit organisations, social enterprises or the private sector? If yes, which aspects?

Table 3.4 Should any aspect of social security be delivered by others such as the 3rd sector, not for profit organisations, social enterprises or the private sector?
Yes No
Respondent group Number % Number % Total
Individuals 44 37% 75 63% 119
Organisations 46 55% 37 45% 83
All respondents answering 90 45% 112 55% 202

Note: A full breakdown of responses by respondent group is included in Annex 2 (available to download separately as part of this publication).

3.56 202 respondents answered the closed part of this question. Views on this question were quite evenly split overall, with answers differing slightly between organisations and individuals. Most individuals (63%) answered 'no', and most organisations (55%) answered 'yes'. There was broad support from across most respondent groups. Of the main groups that responded, the majority of disability and long term conditions organisations agreed. However, most local authority respondents disagreed.

3.57 174 respondents provided further comments (80 individuals and 94 organisations). Instead of identifying specific aspects as asked, comments mainly focused on which sectors or types of organisations should or shouldn't have a role in delivery. Often the same points were made by those who answered 'yes', and those who answered no to the closed part of the question.

3.58 The main themes emerging were:

  • roles of third, non-profit and social enterprise organisations; and
  • roles of private sector and profit making organisations.

Role of third sector, non-profit and social enterprises

3.59 A large number of respondents felt that there was a role for third sector, non-profit or social enterprises in delivering aspects of social security. These were mainly the respondents who answered 'yes', but included a few who answered no or did not answer the closed part of the question. A large number felt that the main role would be around providing information, advocacy, advice and support. A few felt that there was a role for third sector or social enterprises in providing assessments or staff training. Local authority respondents felt that they had a role to play in delivering local services, given their existing infrastructure and experience.

"The third sector are incredibly well placed to deliver certain aspects of social security, particularly around advocacy and advice."
Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector

"Although we believe that decision making and other core functions should be delivered centrally by a single social security agency, there is certainly a place for local information, advice and advocacy organisations and services."
Equality and Human Rights Commission

3.60 Some raised concerns about the ability, capacity and infrastructure of third sector and voluntary sector organisations to deliver services, and to deliver them consistently across Scotland. It was also noted that delivery responsibilities might pose a conflict of interest, impacting on the relationship between the support and advice organisation and client.

"It must be remembered that social enterprises and not-for profit organisations struggle for funding and may not have the capacity to commit to a social security delivery role unless long term funding is provided and formalised for this purpose. There is a danger that using private sector organisations, instituted for profit-making purposes, would not have the best interests of the population at heart and would not be a good use of public money."
Glasgow Centre for Population Health

Role of private or profit making companies

3.61 A large number of respondents specifically stated that they did not want private or profit making companies to be involved in delivering social security. This included respondents who answered 'yes', 'no' or didn't answer the closed part of the question. They reiterated that past and current experiences of outsourcing delivery to private companies had not worked well, and that public perception of private companies in social security was largely negative.

"It is very strongly felt the private sector should have no involvement in the delivery of social security in Scotland."
Fife Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations

"But not by private sector, third sector have lots to offer and understand claimants better."
Individual

3.62 The only area where a few respondents felt the private sector had a role was in providing goods for cash, such as the Motability scheme.

3.63 Some noted the need for any agency delivering social security to be fully transparent and accountable. Some of the respondents answering 'no' were concerned about the accountability of organisations outwith the public sector.

"Unless there is oversight and accountability, there will not be any public confidence; given recent uses of 3rd parties."
Individual

Reasons for answering 'no'

3.64 Where respondents gave reasons for answering 'no' to the closed part of this question they did not want private sector delivery, were uncertain of the third sector's capacity to deliver aspects, or wanted everything to be delivered through local authorities.


Contact

Email: Trish Brady-Campbell