Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Welfare Reform Committee

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Welfare Reform Committee that UK reforms were "coming too deep and too fast" on 8 January 2013.

Ms Sturgeon said: "These reforms are coming against the back drop of some of the biggest cuts that we have seen to the welfare system in a generation.

"Just yesterday we saw child benefits start to be removed from many people we estimate that will affect almost 100,000 people across Scotland and of course today the UK government presses ahead with plans to put a cap on increases to benefits including the benefits for many people who are working hard in low paid jobs.

"We would estimate that the cap on benefits including tax credits will affect around 700,000 working households across Scotland.

"So clearly these are changes with a big big impact in Scotland and I think they will cause more pain for some of the most vulnerable people and families across our society who are already struggling to cope."

The committee was taking evidence on the Scottish government's passported benefits consultation , covering benefits such as free school meals and blue badge parking and how they will continue to operate in Scotland after changes are made to the UK benefit system.

In June 2012, the Scottish government published the consultation paper on changes required as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment by Westminster.

According to the Scottish government respondents expressed concerns that under the proposed welfare reform, many individuals currently in receipt of passported benefits will lose these.

It said there was support for the four underlying principles of simplification, auto-entitlement, information transfer and making work pay, with a call for those individuals currently receiving passported benefits to continue to receive them.

MSPs passed the Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Bill after its final debate on 28 June 2012.

Welfare Reform Committee

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