Devolved Social Security assistance: up-rating for inflation in 2024-2025

A report on the impact of inflation on devolved social security assistance as required under section 86A of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018.

1. Purpose

1.1 This report is published under section 86A[1] of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018[2] ('the 2018 Act') which requires Scottish Ministers to consider the effects of price inflation on all forms of assistance delivered under Chapter 2 of Part 2 or section 79 of the 2018 Act and to lay a report in the Scottish Parliament before the end of each financial year.

1.2 This report sets out the inflation-adjusted level of each relevant figure, explains how the inflation-adjusted levels have been calculated and states what the Scottish Ministers have done, or intend to do, in light of their calculations and their reasons for that decision.

1.3 The payments of assistance under the reporting duty in section 86A include:

  • 1. Carers' assistance (Young Carer Grant and Carer Support Payment)
  • 2. Cold-spell heating assistance
  • 3. Winter heating assistance (Child Winter Heating Payment and Winter Heating Payment)
  • 4. Disability assistance (Child and Adult Disability Payment)
  • 5. Early years assistance (Best Start Grant)
  • 6. Employment injury assistance
  • 7. Funeral expense assistance (Funeral Support Payment)
  • 8. Housing assistance
  • 9. Short-term assistance
  • 10. Scottish Child Payment

1.4 Of the above forms of assistance, the Best Start Grant, Child Winter Heating Payment, Winter Heating Payment, Funeral Support Payment, Young Carer Grant, Short-term assistance, Scottish Child Payment, Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment have been delivered and are included in this report for consideration. Carer Support Payment is due to be available nationally by Autumn 2024 and has also been included for consideration. The report is required to consider the change in prices since the previous report was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 28 February 2023[3].

1.5 This report also explains how the inflation-adjusted level of Carer's Allowance Supplement has been calculated. Although this reporting is not required by the 2018 Act, it is being provided to offer a fuller picture of all the assistance delivered[4]. Similarly, information on other forms of assistance not covered by the 2018 Act such as Job Start Payment and Best Start Foods will also be included.

1.6 Finally, section 86B[5] of the 2018 Act requires Scottish Ministers to bring forward legislation before the end of each financial year, to replace the payment amount in the Regulations which is, in their opinion, materially below its inflation-adjusted level. All forms of carer's assistance (including Carer Support Payment and Young Carer Grant), disability assistance, employment injury assistance, Funeral Support Payment and Scottish Child Payment that are set out in the 2018 Act and Regulations made under the 2018 Act are to be up-rated to the inflation-adjusted level calculated in accordance with section 86A. This means that for the financial year 2024-25 there is a requirement to up-rate Funeral Support Payment, Carer Support Payment, Young Carer Grant, Scottish Child Payment, Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment. Carer's Allowance Supplement must also be up-rated in accordance with section 81 of the 2018 Act.

1.7 The Scottish Government is committed to embedding the eight Scottish social security principles in Section 1 of the 2018 Act into the policy making process. The approach to up-rating, in particular, is intended to reinforce the principles that:

  • social security is an investment in the people of Scotland;
  • social security is itself a human right and essential to the realisation of other human rights;
  • the Scottish social security system is to contribute to reducing poverty in Scotland; and;
  • opportunities are to be sought to continuously improve the Scottish social security system in ways which - i) put the needs of those who require assistance first, and ii) advance equality and non-discrimination.



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