More Welfare Powers Will Be 'Fairer'

A Bill to underpin a "fairer approach'' to welfare will be introduced by spring 2017, the Scottish Government has said.

It will outline improvements to be made once powers over 11 existing social security benefits are transferred to Holyrood, according to Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil.

The Scottish Government has already pledged to use the new powers to increase the Carer's Allowance to the same rate as the Jobseeker's Allowance, abolish the so-called "bedroom tax'', introduce flexibilities around how Universal Credit is paid and scrap rules that remove some income from the families of disabled children.

It comes as the Scottish Parliament debates social security on Tuesday.

Mr Neil said: "By spring 2017 we will bring forward a Social Security Bill which will pave the way for us to create a fairer approach to social security that protects and supports the most vulnerable people in our society.

"We will use our powers to ensure our approach to social security meets people's needs, addresses their priorities and respects their rights.

"This morning I will speak to carers in Edinburgh about our plans to increase the Carer's Allowance to the same level as Jobseeker's Allowance.

"This move is a priority for us as it is unacceptable for carers to be paid one of the lowest benefits, if not the lowest benefit, that currently exists under the UK Government's system.''

Forth of Firth, Edinburgh Forth Bridge Hailed

Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has claimed "nobody can hold a candle" to Scotland's bridges after unveiling a plaque commemorating the Forth Bridge's world heritage status.

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