The bill to correct shortcomings in the Scottish social security system and smooth the introduction of the Scottish child payment has passed its final stage in the Scottish Parliament.

MSPs voted unanimously after the stage 3 debate to approve the Social Security Administration and Tribunal Membership (Scotland) Bill, which makes what were described as technical but important changes to the administration of Scottish social security with regard to appointees, terminal illness and topping up reserved benefits. It also allows judges from other jurisdictions to sit on Scottish tribunals.

Among its provisions it allows regulations creating top-up benefits, including the new Scottish child payment, to include provisions on offences and investigations. Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed the Government's intention to open applications for the Scottish child payment in November, with the benefit starting to be paid in February 2021.

Click here to view the official report of the debate.