- Alfie Baron
The SNP's Social Security Minister, Jeanne Freeman, has denied they are ducking out of the new powers. It is being widely reported that SNP ministers have asked the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to remain in charge of payments until 2020 under an arrangement known as "split competence".
Labour's Neil Findlay accused the SNP of having "brass neck" - citing the SNP's belief that they could setup an entire independent state in eighteen months - but they want three years to setup the system to administer welfare payments!
Jeanne Freeman said "to call this a delay is to completely misunderstand the process of how you go about building a new public service" and the SNP government had been consistent that a Scottish social security agency would be set up by 2021.
"We will take the time, we will listen, we will not be bullied into false timescales or deadline dates, and within the lifetime of this parliament we will deliver a social security system for Scotland that everyone in Scotland can be proud of,"