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We accept the Expert Working Group on Welfare’s recommendation that there should be a transitional period of shared administration for delivery of benefit payments. As highlighted by the Group, this offers the best arrangement in the short-term. It also ensures continuity of payments for millions of benefit recipients elsewhere in the UK whose applications and payments are currently processed in Scotland. However, it is our intention that such a system of shared administration will last only until 2018 and be organised in such a way that will:

  • allow the first government of an independent Scotland to introduce its priorities for change from 2016

  • allow that government also to begin work towards creating a welfare system that better reflects Scotland’s priorities and needs

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.