Minister for Social Security and Local Government
Current role holder: Ben Macpherson MSP
Ben Macpherson was appointed Minister for Social Security and Local Government in May 2021.
Supports the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government.
Specific responsibilities are:
- Social Security Scotland
- Scottish Welfare Fund
- Carer's Allowance / Carer’s Assistance
- Child Disability Payment
- Adult Disability Payment
- Child Winter Heating Assistance
- Scottish Child Payment
- Job Start Payment
- Best Start Grant
- Self-Isolation Support Grant
- Funeral Expense Assistance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Cold Weather Payments
- Winter Fuel Payments
- Care Leaver grant
- Welfare Foods
- benefit automation and advice services
- local government
Ben grew up in Edinburgh before studying a BA Honours degree in Philosophy and Politics at the University of York. After graduating he returned to Edinburgh and worked in a number of different roles before going on to complete a postgraduate LLB and a Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh. He then qualified as a solicitor and practised as a lawyer with one of Scotland’s large commercial firms. As well as his legal training, Ben has worked in financial services, for an NGO, in renewable energy, in a school and in hospitality.
Throughout his career, Ben has been a committed political activist. In 2016 this culminated in being elected as the MSP for the Edinburgh Northern and Leith constituency, where he lives.
As a backbencher, Ben has previously served on the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee, Justice Committee and Sub-Committee on Policing. He was also a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minster between 2016-2018.
In June 2018 Ben was appointed Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, before becoming Minister for Public Finance and Migration in February 2020, and Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment in December 2020. In May 2021 he took up his current role as Minister for Social Security and Local Government.
He is a committed internationalist and passionate about social justice and sustainable, inclusive economic progress. Beyond working and campaigning, Ben likes running, football and watching films and documentaries.