Publication - FOI/EIR release

Discretionary Housing Payments to mitigate the Bedroom tax in Scotland: FOI release

Published: 3 Mar 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
3 Mar 2020
Discretionary Housing Payments to mitigate the Bedroom tax in Scotland: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000014853
Date received: 31 Jan 2020
Date responded: 28 Feb 2020
Information requested

You asked:

Can you tell me how much money the Scottish Government has spent on subsidizing the population of Scotland since the Bedroom Tax came into being?

Response

Background
In response to your question we have interpreted your reference to subsidizing to be a reference to Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs). The current legislation for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) is The Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001. DHPs are administered by the Local Authority (the council) and are funded by the Scottish Government. DHP's have been fully devolved from 1 April 2017, with the Scotland Act 2016 implementing the Smith Commission Agreement.

The Scottish Government is committed to abolishing the Bedroom Tax at source using the powers we have from the Scotland Act 2016. Officials are working to agree a timetable with the Department for Work and Pensions for the implementation of this fix. The Scottish Government currently mitigates the Bedroom Tax though the use of Discretionary Housing Payments and has budgeted more than £52 million for this purpose in 2019/20 helping more than 70,000 households to maintain their tenancies.

Response
The table below details the funding for each financial year. The Scottish Government cumulative spend on Discretionary Housing Payments for mitigation of the “Bedroom Tax” since 2013/14 is £223,914,994. The spend for 2019/20 is unknown at present as the end year financial reconciliation has not yet taken place. The budgeted spend for 2019/20 is over £52,000,000.

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

£20,000,000

£35,099,000

£35,811,000

£35,263,000

£46,962,944

£50,779,050

The figures for 2013/14 to 2016/17 were published in a Parliamentary Request S5W-17638. The response published can be found online at: https://www.parliament.scot/S5ChamberOffice/WA20180727.pdf

The figures for 2017/18 and 2018/19 are unpublished, However, the figures formed part of a submission to the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning on 13 September 2018 and 24 July 2019. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide full copies of the ministerial submissions because an exemption under section 30b(ii) of FOISA applies to that information.

Additionally you may be interested to know that all annual statistical Management Information from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2019 and mid-year Management Information from 01 April 2019 to 30 September 2019 can be found on the Scottish Government website at: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/dhp

The end-year Management Information for the period 01 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 will be available following the end of the financial year.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG