Scottish Government to invest £5.3bn in social security support

Scottish Government to invest £5.3bn in social security support

Ben Macpherson

Social security expenditure in Scotland will total £5.2 billion in 2026-27, according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission’s latest forecast report.

The amount spent is projected to increase by £1.5bn over the five years due to a variety of reasons including an increase in benefits provided, inflationary rises to payments, Scotland’s ageing population increasing caseloads for payments to support the pension age group and more children and working-age people receiving disability benefits.

It is expected that more people will access financial support in the coming years as the Scottish Government continues the roll-out of devolved benefits. This includes Adult Disability Payment which will replace Personal Independence Payment for disabled people of working age in Scotland in 2022.

The Scottish Child Payment will also be extended to children up to the age of 16 from the end of 2022 if data relating to this benefit is received from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Ben Macpherson, social security minister, said: “Social security is an investment in the people of Scotland and is a fundamental human right. With the devolved social security powers and limited resources that we have, we are committed to making sure everyone can access the financial support they are entitled to.

“By understanding people’s experiences of accessing UK Government social security support, we have sought to ensure that our new Scottish Government service is easily accessible and that people have a good experience when interacting with the Scottish social security system. If someone is eligible for support then it is our responsibility to make sure that they know about available payments, and help them get the money they need and that they are due.

“As well as the introduction of our new disability benefits in 2021 and 2022, in the coming years, we will also introduce Scottish Carer’s Assistance, which will replace the UK Government’s Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.”

He added: “In 2023-24 it is forecast that nearly 300,000 children will benefit from the Scottish Child Payment. This will be the first full year of the planned rollout of Scottish Child Payment to 6 to 15 year olds. We also plan to significantly increase the value of Scottish Child Payment, doubling it to £20 per week within the lifetime of the Parliament and lifting more children out of poverty.

“It is vital that the UK Government matches our efforts. We need UK Ministers to take decisive action in the areas where they have power and responsibility and to reverse their welfare cuts which are hitting households harder than ever. I call again on the UK Government to end their benefit cap, bedroom tax and two-child limit, and to maintain the £20 Universal Credit uplift.”

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