A North Ayrshire MSP has heard from the disabled community this week ahead of the Scottish Government gaining new social security powers.

Cunninghame South MSP Ruth Maguire attended a Poverty and Social Security Policy Panel in Glasgow on Wednesday, August 16 organised by the Disabled People’s Organisation, Inclusion Scotland.

The event was held ahead of Holyrood taking control of new social security powers.

The Social Security (Scotland) Bill was introduced in June and consideration at Stage1 will begin when Parliament returns from recess in September.

SNP MSP Ruth sits on Holyrood’s Social Security Committee, which will be the lead committee considering the Bill.

She said: “Nearly half of all those living in poverty in the UK are disabled people or their families. The new powers over social security give us the opportunity to change this.

“Crucial to this will be listening to the views and experiences of people who use the social security system at the front line – those who have first hand experience of what isn’t working, and clear ideas of how it could work better.

“Although I would rather have seen 100 per cent of power and responsibility over social security coming to our Scottish Parliament, I am pleased that the 15 per cent that is being devolved includes disability benefits.

“That will allow us to take a different approach to one of the groups that has suffered the most under the morally bankrupt welfare reform of the Tory party.”