Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Thursday, 23 February 2012

Welfare Reform Committee

Newly elected convener Michael McMahon said that by establishing the Welfare Reform Committee the Scottish Parliament establishing the committee was "sending a clear message that it appreciates the severity of the concerns on welfare reform", on 23 February 2012.

Scottish Labour MSP Mr McMahon also said that whilst welfare was a reserved issue, the Scottish government had responsibility for various aspects linked to it, such as homelessness.

The committee, who were having their first meeting, were set up on the recommendation of the Health and Sport committee "given the cross-cutting nature of welfare reform."

The committee's remit is as follows: "to keep under review the passage of the UK Welfare Reform Bill and monitor its implementation as it affects welfare provision in Scotland and to consider relevant Scottish legislation and other consequential arrangements."

The convener also said that reform policies would have a huge impact on Scotland and that "as a starting point for welfare to work we need to have jobs".

The newly elected deputy convener SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said the devil was in the detail and reflecting on the evidence received by committees who looked at the Welfare Reform bill "it is fair to say the evidence received has not exactly been effusive in its welcoming of the detail".

Conservative member Alex Johnstone said that whilst he believed welfare reform was necessary he was "disappointed that Parliament failed to pass the legislative consent motion which would have allowed the Welfare Reform Bill to move forward in a more traditional manner".

Welfare Reform Committee

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