Humza Yousaf told Scots will ‘see right through’ ninth paper on independence

Humza Yousaf’s administration has come under criticism after its ninth independence paper was announced.

The latest instalment in the Building a New Scotland series focusing on social security is set to launch on December 6.

But Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, claimed the papers by the Scottish Government have “utterly failed to answer the most basic questions about leaving the UK”.

She said: “It is crystal clear that the SNP/Green government is churning out these papers one after the other to try and distract voters from the scandals and the failures of our public services being reported every day.

“But people are not daft and will see right through this.

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“As part of the UK, we have more to spend on social security as we pool and share resources and risk across the entire country.

“And when it comes to the social security powers devolved after the referendum, the Scottish Government took years and years to enact them, repeatedly asking the UK Government to continue provision – and the process still hasn’t been completed.

“The government’s previous papers have utterly failed to answer the most basic questions about leaving the UK, so if this one is to have any credibility it will explain the massive upheaval of breaking up our welfare state and the very real risk to pensions and benefits.”

Scottish Government minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said social security in an independent Scotland could “transform lives”.

Ms Somerville said: “The Scottish Parliament has shown how Scotland can make different choices and deliver a fairer system with more positive outcomes.

“Independence would provide us with an opportunity to go further and transform the way benefits are delivered in this country.

“With independence, we could ensure everyone has a decent standard of living and provide a strong safety net people could turn to when times are financially tough.

“Currently, the UK system fails to provide an adequate level of support for those who need it.

“As a result, the UK has higher poverty rates than European nations that are comparable to Scotland.”

Ms Somerville said the Scottish Government has been able to introduce “transformative” policies such as the Scottish child payment – £25 a week for eligible children – and has lifted an estimated 50,000 children out of relative poverty in 2023/24.

She added: “It is only with the full powers of independence that we could use the full fiscal and economic levers to tackle poverty in Scotland.”

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