Call for north-east residents to help shape social security policy

Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart

People from across the north-east are being urged to sign up for a Scottish Government scheme and help shape the future of the social security system.

There are currently around 2,400 volunteer Experience Panel members from across the country who regularly give their views on benefits, disability allowances and young carers grants.

However there are more people from older age groups than younger signed up, and only 2% are from ethnic minorities.

A drive has been launched to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds, who are under 25, or live in rural areas to consider joining the scheme.

Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said: “The Experience Panels have been incredibly valuable and put people with the lived reality of the current benefits system at the heart of helping to shape Scotland’s new, fairer social security system.

“Sadly so many people have been put through the ringer of a benefit system which is failing the most vulnerable in our communities.

“The Scottish Government’s approach to social security is a complete game changer and is putting dignity, fairness, and respect at its core.”

Fiona Robertson, a panel member from Aberdeen, said: “It’s one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

“As someone who has had terrible experiences with the existing system, I’ve had the chance to help build a new one which treats people with respect and kindness.

“It isn’t just passive consultation to tick a box – our insight has changed the whole approach to social security.”

For more information search for the experience panels page on gov.scot or call 0800 029 4974.

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