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UK Welfare Reform Act 2012

The UK Government have introduced the Welfare Reform Act 2012 which will see significant changes to the welfare system which will impact on people and policies in Scotland.

The Act, amongst other measures has:

  • Introduced Universal Credit (UC), a new, integrated, working age benefit that will replace a number of existing benefits including Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance and Tax Credits.

  • Abolished Council Tax Benefit from April 2013. Funding for this support will instead be given to the Scottish Government and administered by local authorities.

  • Abolished discretionary Social Fund payments. Funding for Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for Living Expenses has been transferred from April 2013 and is administered through our Scottish Welfare Fund.

The Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012

On 22 December 2011, the Scottish Parliament took the unprecedented step of partially refusing legislative consent for those parts of the UK Welfare Reform Bill relating to elements of UC and Personal Independence Payments (PIP). This resulted in the above Act which was introduced in March 2012 and gives Scottish Ministers powers to make changes to Scottish legislation relating to passported benefits, so that these could operate under a new benefits regime. This Act also placed an obligation on Scottish Ministers to produce an annual report on how the UK Act could impact on Scotland.

Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee (WRC)

The WRC was established on 25 January 2012 and its role is to keep under review the passage of the UK Welfare Reform Act 2012 and monitor its implementation as it affects welfare provision in Scotland and to consider relevant Scottish legislation and other consequential arrangements.


If you require further information in relation to welfare reform in Scotland then please contact:-