The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Ms Shirley-Anne Sommerville, today announced the appointment of Dr Mark Simpson as Member of the Scottish Commission on Social Security.
Dr Mark Simpson is a lecturer in Law at Ulster University. His research focuses on social security and poverty. Recent studies with colleagues at Ulster examine Social security systems based on dignity and respect (for the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland) and Destitution and paths to justice (for the Legal Education Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation). Mark has published on social security, devolution and human rights in leading academic journals in the fields of Law and Social Policy. In 2019 he will commence a new research project on claimants’ experiences of universal credit in Northern Ireland, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The Scottish Government has committed – via the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 (“the Act”) – to establishing an independent scrutiny body for social security. This body, known as the Scottish Commission on Social Security (“the SCoSS”), will exist to scrutinise the Scottish social security system (including the benefit regulations) and hold Scottish Ministers to account. It will be broadly analogous to – but have key differences from – the UK-level Social Security Advisory Committee.
Mark’s appointment will be for four years and will run from 23 January 2019 to 22 January 2023. This appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.