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.

8. Carer's Allowance Supplement Statement

8.1 As Carer's Allowance has the lowest rate of all working age benefits, Carer's Allowance Supplement was designed to increase Carer's Allowance to the level of Jobseeker's Allowance. The Supplement is an interim measure until the Scottish Government is delivering Carer Support Payment in full under the powers in the 2018 Act.

8.2 Carer's Allowance Supplement will continue to be paid in the same way as it is now until case transfer from Carer's Allowance to Carer Support Payment is complete to protect the safe and secure transfer of benefits for carers in Scotland. We are considering how best to integrate Carer's Allowance Supplement with Carer Support Payment as part of our future improvements for Carer Support Payment and after all awards have been transferred over from Carer's Allowance.

8.3 Section 81 of the 2018 Act provides a formula for determining the rate of Carer's Allowance Supplement by calculating the difference between the weekly rate of Carer's Allowance and Jobseeker's Allowance. To ensure the support provided through the Supplement is protected as prices change, Section 81 provides for the amount of Jobseeker's Allowance used in this calculation to be up-rated for inflation, while also taking into account any actual changes in the rate of Jobseeker's Allowance since the introduction of the Supplement. This means that since the introduction of Carer's Allowance Supplement in 2018, the Jobseeker's Allowance rate used for its calculation was up-rated with inflation despite the actual rate of Jobseeker's Allowance remaining frozen at 2015-16 prices under the UK Government benefit freeze policy until April 2020.

8.4 As no legislation is required to up-rate Carer's Allowance Supplement, Scottish Ministers are to publish a statement before the start of each new tax year, explaining how inflation has been calculated for this purpose. It is appropriate to include this statement within this report.

8.5 For 2024-25, Scottish Ministers have chosen to up-rate the 2023-24 bi-annual rate of Carer's Allowance Supplement of £270.50 by 6.7%, to £288.60. This is equivalent to a weekly rate of £11.10.

8.6 Up-rating the weekly Jobseeker's Allowance rate used in last year's calculation of Carer's Allowance Supplement (£87.15) by the annual rate of CPI to September 2023 of 6.7% produces £93.00 (to the nearest 5p). Compared with the 2024-25 rate of Carer's Allowance (£81.90) this is a weekly difference of £11.10, a 6.7% rise from the £10.40 weekly Carer's Allowance Supplement rate set in 2023-24.



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