Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman MSP, outlines the new social security system for Scotland.
Last month I marked another milestone as we build our new social security system for Scotland, when we responded to the consultation which has taken me to communities across Scotland over the past few months.
From Stornoway to the Scottish Borders, I've asked people about social security and listened to their personal experiences of the current system.
What's impressed me most was the number of people who spoke to me and were willing to not only share their own stories, but also tell me their ideas and views about Scotland's system could, and should, work better.
There's one thing I heard most of all - and it stuck with me:
"People using social security services should have the right to expect to be treated as human beings."
Yes, they absolutely should. And in our Scottish system they will be. Social security is a human right and that rights based approach will be the foundation on which we will build.
And the starting point for us is to enshrine that rights based approach and our founding principles of dignity, fairness and respect in the foundation and daily operation of the agency
Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities and Jeane Freeman, Minister for Social Security, meet members of the public to consult on the new devolved powers.
Those principles will be reflected in a charter to make sure that the government has a duty to deliver on this promise, and gives people confidence that this is about much more than warm words - we are working with and for everyone in Scotland.
We have a clear path we need to follow to make sure that we transfer these powers safely and securely and the 1.4m people who reply on this critical financial support continue to receive the money they expect, on the right day and at the right amount.
It is why I am pleased that one of the first uses of our powers is to give tenants the choice of having the housing element of Universal Credit payments made directly to landlords in the private rented sector as well as those in social housing.
I know that the social security system we are building can make a real and positive difference to people's lives.
I want to work with people in designing our system. That is why on 3 March I announced our plans to recruit 2,000 people with lived experience of the benefits. By joining, people can share their experience of receiving benefits and help to shape the new system.
People will be recruited to the panels in two ways - by direct invitation mailed to a representative sample of recent benefit recipients and by an open invitation, publicly asking for volunteers.
More information about the Experience Panels and how to register
can be found at
It's only through listening to people who have personal experience of the benefits system and by working with experts in the field that we will make that positive difference.
I am confident that we will.
Email: Annabel MacMillan