What can the Scottish Parliament do with new social security powers? (2016)


Professor Paul Spicker analyses the planned devolution of social security powers to the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Bill and argues:

"The reforms have been represented as giving Scotland “one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.” That is debatable. In any federal system, powers lie by default with the states, not with central government. It is open to the states (and sometimes to local governments) to experiment and to innovate. Scotland will not be able to do this. Everything the Scottish Parliament does will have to be done with an eye to what is happening elsewhere in benefits, and they will be subject to continued direction, and control of resources, from central government. However, there will be things they can do, and those things will be worth doing."