Publication - Corporate report

Scottish Budget 2019-2020

Published: 12 Dec 2018
Directorate:
Financial Management Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Scottish Budget
ISBN:
9781787813960

The Scottish Government's proposed spending and tax plans for 2019 to 2020.

Scottish Budget 2019-2020
Chapter 14 - Social Security and Older People

Chapter 14 - Social Security and Older People

Portfolio Responsibilities

The portfolio is focused on our overarching aim to create a fairer Scotland. We will continue to prioritise funding to support the design and implementation of our devolved social security powers and the new Executive Agency, Social Security Scotland. The portfolio will continue to tackle poverty, to accelerate the help we give to new families to ensure that every child has the best start in life and to mitigate the worst impacts of the UK Government's welfare cuts.

The portfolio supports a wide range of work to prevent discrimination, promote equality and human rights and build more cohesive, resilient and thriving communities. We support and celebrate the skills and talents of our older people and seek to reduce barriers for all to contribute to their communities. The portfolio will continue to support strategic and frontline projects to address inequality and discrimination across the protected characteristics, delivering on our commitment to security through three-year funding streams. We will also support the mainstreaming of equality and the improvement of public sector delivery on equality, the advancement of human rights and work to prevent violent extremism.

Portfolio Priorities

Creating a Fairer Scotland priorities

We will tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally.

Social security is an investment in the people of Scotland and the newly devolved elements of the Scottish social security system will play a key role in the creation of a fairer society. Respect for the dignity of individuals is at the heart of that system which is being designed with the people who will use it, both now and in the future.

It is the responsibility of Social Security Scotland to ensure that the newly devolved elements of Scotland's social security system are managed correctly and fairly, delivering benefits to the 1.4 million people who rely on them, in accordance with the principles in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 and the Social Security Charter. Social Security Scotland will contribute to the outcomes-based approach set out in the National Performance Framework (NPF). Its focus on taking a rights-based approach to the delivery of social security in Scotland will support the NPF's human rights outcome and values of kindness, dignity and compassion.

We will continue to take action to protect the poorest members of our society from the most damaging effects of the UK Government's austerity policies through a range of mitigation measures, including supporting advice services to ensure people are receiving all the income they are entitled to.

We want Scotland to be an open, welcoming and inclusive country, and will continue to give priority to tackling inequality and to promoting equality by continuing to invest in organisations working to advance equality. This resource will continue to support the progression of human rights, progress work to prevent violence against women and girls, remove barriers to positive ageing, and strengthen community engagement. In order to advance equality, it is vital to empower groups experiencing discrimination and disadvantage to have a voice and influence, as this will assist us in our aim to deliver equality of opportunity for all.

This portfolio supports the National Performance Framework outcomes of Human Rights, Communities, Poverty, Fair Work and Business.

Social Security priorities

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 1 June 2018 and we have started to deliver our first benefits. Social security payments are demand-led and budget allocations are based on expenditure forecasts produced by the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

The first Carer's Allowance Supplement payments have already been made with the next payment of the Supplement being made from the middle of December 2018 onwards. In addition, the first Best Start Pregnancy and Baby payments are due to be made before Christmas 2018. From April 2019, payments of Carer's Allowance will increase to £66.15 per week and Carer's Allowance Supplement will increase to £8.70 per week to reflect the current cost of living.

Best Start Early Learning and School payments and Funeral Expense Assistance will be introduced by summer 2019. The Scottish Fiscal Commission has provided benefit expenditure forecasts based on indicative start dates of 1 June 2019. Budgets and forecasts may be revised once start dates are confirmed.

The majority of welfare spending remains reserved to the UK Government and has been subject to continuing welfare cuts. The Scottish Government is committed to providing support to help mitigate some of the worst impacts of the cuts. We will do this by maintaining funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) in 2019-20.

The devolved elements of the social security system will be administered by Social Security Scotland, with a total administrative budget of £41.5 million in 2019-20.

Work on the social security programme continues, with a focus on the safe and secure transition of the remaining benefits to be devolved, and we have committed £77.8 million to this in 2019-20.

In 2019-20 we will:

  • Deliver social security assistance with a total forecast expenditure of over £434 million. The Scottish Fiscal Commission is forecasting the following spend:
    • £37 million for Carer's Allowance Supplement;
    • £12.4 million for Best Start Grant;
    • £6.2 million for Funeral Expense Assistance;
    • £52.3 million of funding to allow local authorities to fully mitigate the effects of the 'bedroom tax' with additional funding of £10.9 million for other DHPs including support for those affected by Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates and benefit cap; and
    • sustaining funding to the Scottish Welfare Fund at £33 million.
  • Provide funding to allow Social Security Scotland to deliver new services with respect for the dignity of individuals.
  • Invest £77.8 million in the social security programme to ensure the safe and secure transition of the remaining benefits to be devolved under the Scotland Act 2016.

Equalities Priorities

This budget provides support to improve the outcomes for people and communities across Scotland, supports the infrastructure and capacity of equality communities and enables us to give focus and support on issues such as discrimination and hate crime, increased representation and community cohesion in line with the refreshed National Performance Framework.

We will respond to recommendations from the First Minister's Advisory Council on Women and Girls, prioritising actions that will ensure that gender equality continues to be central to policy development across Scotland. We will also respond in full to the recommendations from the First Minister's Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership and address the human rights and equalities impact of EU Exit. We will also deliver a new framework for our policy on older people.

This budget recognises the cross-cutting nature of equalities and human rights and supports delivery of equalities objectives right across government, therefore spend in support of work delivered through the Communities and Local Government portfolio is detailed in that chapter.

In 2019-20 our budget will:

  • Continue to deliver the Scottish Human Rights Defender Fellowship.
  • Deliver a response to the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls and continue to support frontline services and wider activity to address gender based violence and inequalities, including a major campaign to challenge sexual harassment and sexism.
  • We will implement our Social Isolation and Loneliness Strategy and deliver a framework policy on older people.
  • Strengthen support to, and protect the human rights of, the Gypsy/Traveller community in Scotland.
  • Continue to deliver the Race Equality Action Plan and maintain Scotland's reputation as a progressive country in terms of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex equality.
  • Support work to tackle hate crimes and support cohesive communities (see detail in the Communities and Local Government portfolio).

Spending Plans

Table 14.01: Spending Plans (Level 2)

Level 2 2017-18
Budget
£m
2018-19
Budget
£m
2019-20
Budget
£m
Equalities 20.3 22.7 24.6
Social Security 6.2 125.5
Social Security Assistance 95.9 94.0 434.8
Total Social Security and Older People 116.2 122.9 584.9
of which:
Total Fiscal Resource 116.2 122.9 574.9
of which Operating Costs* 68.1
Non-cash
Capital 10.0
Financial Transactions
UK Funded AME

* In 2019-20, there is a change to the way that Scottish Government staffing budgets are presented and total operating costs are now included within portfolio budgets. This is set out in more detail in the Annex on operating costs.

Total Limit on Income (accruing resources) 10.0

What the Equalities budget does

Our spending on equality and human rights activities supports the drive for social justice, economic and inclusive growth, and community resilience and empowerment.

Table 14.02: Equalities Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level3 2017-18
Budget
£m
2018-19
Budget
£m
2019-20
Budget
£m
Equalities 20.3 22.7 24.6
Total Equalities 20.3 22.7 24.6
of which:      
Fiscal Resource 20.3 22.7 24.6
Non-cash
Capital
Financial Transactions
UK Funded AME

See footnote on operating costs in Table 14.01.

What the Social Security budget does

This budget funds the administration of the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments and the setting up of Scotland's devolved social security system and our new Executive Agency, Social Security Scotland.

Table 14.03: Social Security Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2017-18 Budget
£m
2018-19 Budget
£m
2019-20 Budget
£m
Scottish Welfare Fund – Administration 5.0 5.0
Discretionary Housing Payments - Administration 1.2 1.2
Social Security Advice, Policy and Programme Costs 77.8
Social Security Scotland 41.5
Social Security 6.2 125.5
of which:      
Fiscal Resource 6.2 115.5
Non-cash
Capital 10.0
Financial Transactions
UK Funded AME

See footnote on operating costs in Table 14.01.

Table 14.04: Social Security Assistance Spending Plans (Level 3)

This budget enables the Scottish Government to provide vital support to some of the poorest members of our society and to help to mitigate the negative impacts of the UK Government's welfare cuts.

Level 3 2017-18 Budget
£m
2018-19 Budget
£m
2019-20 Budget
£m
Scottish Welfare Fund 38.0 33.0 33.0
Discretionary Housing Payments – BTM 47.0 50.1 52.3
Discretionary Housing Payments – other 10.9 10.9 10.9
Carer's Allowance 283.0
Carer's Allowance Supplement 37.0
Best Start Grant 12.4
Funeral Expense Assistance 6.2
Social Security Assistance 95.9 94.0 434.8
of which:      
Fiscal Resource 95.9 94.0 434.8
Non-cash
Capital
Financial Transactions
UK Funded AME

Contact

Email: Finance.co-ordination@gov.scot