Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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

Spicker, Paul


Paul Spicker


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.


SPICKER, P. 2016. What can the Scottish Parliament do with new social security powers? Glasgow: Comon Weal [online]. Available from:

Report Type Discussion Paper
Online Publication Date Feb 28, 2016
Publication Date Feb 28, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 13, 2018
Publisher Common Weal
Keywords Social security powers; Scottish Parliament; Benefits
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations