Publication - Publication

Scottish Budget 2020-2021

Sets out our proposed spending and tax plans for 2020 to 2021, as presented to the Scottish Parliament.

283 page PDF

5.1 MB

283 page PDF

5.1 MB

Contents
Scottish Budget 2020-2021
Chapter 14: Social Security and Older People

283 page PDF

5.1 MB

Chapter 14: Social Security and Older People

Portfolio Responsibilities

The portfolio focuses on our overarching aim to create a Fairer Scotland. We will continue to prioritise funding to support the development, design and implementation of our social security powers and delivery of all benefits through Social Security Scotland, improving on the current system wherever we can. We will ensure a safe and secure transition of powers so that people who rely on these benefits continue to get the right payments at the right time. The portfolio will continue to tackle poverty and inequality, provide assistance to ensure that every child has the best start in life, improve the lives of those in need and mitigate the worst impacts of UK Government welfare cuts.

The portfolio supports a wide range of work to prevent discrimination and promote equality and human rights. It will continue to support strategic and front-line projects to address inequality and discrimination across the protected characteristics, delivering on our commitment to provide security for the third sector through 3-year funding streams. We will support the embedding of equality and human rights in the development of policy across government and the improvement of public sector delivery on equality. We are bringing together several funding streams which previously all supported some aspect of work related to violence against women and girls. This review will enable us to more closely align future funding to support organisations to develop and deliver work that directly contributes to delivering the ambitions of the Equally Safe strategy. Proposals for legislation which will drive long-term, systemic change in relation to human rights are being developed by the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership. We support and celebrate the skills and talents of our older people and seek to reduce barriers for all to contribute to their communities.

Portfolio Priorities

Creating a Fairer Scotland priorities

We believe social security is an investment in the people of Scotland. We are committed to delivering a system based on fairness, dignity and respect, which will play a key role in the creation of a fairer society, improving wellbeing and helping to reduce child poverty. Our focus on taking a rights-based approach to the delivery of social security in Scotland will support the human rights outcome and values of kindness, dignity and compassion. This portfolio supports the National Performance Framework outcomes of Human Rights, Communities, Poverty, Children, Fair Work and Business. Scotland performs successfully against international treaty obligations and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020-21 we will:

  • take on full responsibility for benefits which support people with disabilities and start delivering the replacement to the current Disability Living Allowance for Children and the Scottish replacement for Personal Independence Payment;
  • improve outcomes for Scotland's children, tackling deep-seated inequalities in our society through the new Scottish Child Payment to eligible families with children under 6 by Christmas 2020, significantly ahead of the timetable in our Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan and highlighting our commitment to tackling child poverty;
  • ensure Scotland's social security system is managed correctly and fairly, delivering benefits in accordance with the principles in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 and the Social Security Charter; and
  • continue to promote equality and human rights through investment in organisations working to achieve equality for women and girls (including preventing gender-based violence), remove barriers to positive ageing, and strengthen community engagement.

Social Security priorities

This budget will ensure the social security programme continues with a focus on the safe and secure transition of the remaining benefits to be devolved under the Scotland Act 2016, and we have committed £175 million to this in 2020-21.

The devolved elements of the social security system delivered with respect for the dignity of individuals will be administered by Social Security Scotland, with a total budget of £186 million.

In addition to the seven new payments we have already launched, we are using our devolved powers to introduce in 2020-21 the following:

  • The Scottish Child Payment, with the first payments to be made by Christmas 2020 for children under 6. Scottish Government analysis suggests that up to 170,000 children could be eligible for this targeted direct financial support to low-income families.
  • A new claims service for the first of our three Disability Assistance benefits, Disability Assistance for Children and Young People, which will replace the UK Government's Disability Living Allowance for Children in Scotland by summer 2020. As part of this, we will provide Child Winter Heating Assistance to families with severely disabled children from winter 2020.
  • Our Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replacement benefit by early 2021.

In total, we will invest over £361 million to deliver Scotland's social security system in 2020-21.

Social Security Assistance priority

This budget provides the social security assistance to improve the outcomes for the people of Scotland who are entitled to these vital payments.

Social security payments are demand-led spend, driven by the number of people who have a claim, based on rates and eligibility criteria set in legislation, rather than by the amount allocated in a budget. The budget allocations for demand-led spend are based on expenditure forecasts produced by the Scottish Fiscal Commission. If benefit demand exceeds forecasts, the additional spend will be managed in-year and additional funding may need to be identified.

From April 2020, we are increasing the payments of Carer's Allowance, Carer's Allowance Supplement, Young Carer Grant and Funeral Support Payment to reflect the current cost of living, and we will also uplift the £700 standard rate for other funeral expenses to £1,000. From April 2020 we will take on executive competence for all disability benefits.

The majority of welfare spending remains reserved to the UK Government and has been subject to continuing cuts. The Scottish Government is committed to providing support to help mitigate some of the worst impacts of the cuts. As part of our mitigation, we will increase funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) in 2020-21.

In 2020-21 our budget will deliver social security assistance with a total forecast expenditure of £3.4 billion, including:

  • £2.9 billion for Disability benefits;
  • £330 million for Carer's Allowance plus Carer's Allowance Supplement;
  • £18 million for Best Start Grant;
  • £9 million for Funeral Support Payment;
  • almost £60 million of funding to allow local authorities to fully mitigate the effects of the 'bedroom tax' with additional funding of £11 million for other DHPs including support for those affected by Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates and benefit cap; and a further £2 million (including administration) to support care experienced young people; and
  • increasing funding to the Scottish Welfare Fund to £35.5 million.

Promoting Equalities and Human Rights priorities

This budget provides support to improve equality and human rights outcomes for people and communities across Scotland; supports the infrastructure and capacity of equality community organisations and enables us to give focus and support on issues such as discrimination and structural inequalities, in line with the Values and Outcomes of the National Performance Framework.

In 2020-21 our budget will:

  • support the work of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership, including delivery of a participatory approach to the development of the proposed Scottish Bill of Rights and implementation of the capacity building programme recommended by the First Minister's Advisory Group;
  • deliver and further develop the Scottish Human Rights Defender Fellowship, in conjunction with civil society partners, the University of Dundee and other contributors;
  • ensure that Scotland engages successfully with international human rights mechanisms, including reporting performance against treaty obligations, responding to international recommendations and facilitating visits and inspections by relevant international bodies and UN Special Rapporteurs;
  • deliver on the recommendations from the first report of the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, including a Gender Beacon Collaborative and gender-focused What Works? Institute;
  • increase support to front-line services and wider activity to address gender-based violence and inequalities, and review ongoing support for the sector;
  • enhance delivery across the Race Equality Action Plan, focusing in on a small number of the most impactful actions;
  • maintain Scotland's reputation as a progressive country in terms of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex equality;
  • continue work to address social isolation and loneliness through the delivery phase of our Connected Scotland strategy; and
  • take forward work to maximise the positive contribution that older people make to our society, and combat ageism and discrimination against them.

Spending Plans

Table 14.01: Spending Plans (Level 2)

Level 2 2018-19
Budget
£m
2019-20
Budget
£m
2020-21
Budget
£m
Equalities 22.7 24.6 30.2
Social Security 6.2 125.5 368.5
Social Security Assistance 94.0 434.8 3,389.5
Total Social Security and Older People 122.9 584.9 3,788.2
of which:
Fiscal Resource 122.9 574.9 3,718.6
of which Operating Costs* - 68.1 61.4
Non-cash - - 0.4
Capital - 10.0 60.0
Financial Transactions - - 9.2
UK Funded AME - - -
Total Limit on Income (accruing resources) 10.0

The investment in the Social Security Programme includes internally-generated assets (e.g. software). The total investment is therefore visible across both the Operating Costs budget and in the Capital budget, and the proportion of each will change each year in line with the Programme's delivery plans.
* Scottish Government operating costs have been presented in this way within portfolio budgets since 2019-20.

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)

Level 3 2018-19
Budget
£m
2019-20
Budget
£m
2020-21
Budget
£m
Promoting Equality and Human Rights 22.7 24.6 30.2
Total Equality 22.7 24.6 30.2
of which:
Fiscal Resource 22.7 24.6 30.2
Non-cash - - -
Capital - - -
Financial Transactions - - -
UK Funded AME - - -

What the Social Security budget does

This budget funds the continued implementation of Scotland's social security system, the operation of the Executive Agency, Social Security Scotland, and the administration of the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments.

Table 14.03: Social Security Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2018-19
Budget
£m
2019-20
Budget
£m
2020-21
Budget
£m
Scottish Welfare Fund - Administration 5.0 5.0 5.5
Discretionary Housing Payments - Administration 1.2 1.2 1.2
Social Security Advice, Policy and Programme Costs - 77.8 175.4
Social Security Scotland - 41.5 186.4
Social Security 6.2 125.5 368.5
of which:
Fiscal Resource 6.2 115.5 308.1
Non-cash - - 0.4
Capital - 10.0 60.0
Financial Transactions - - -
UK Funded AME - - -

What the Social Security Assistance budget does

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

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

Level 3 2018-19
Budget
£m
2019-20
Budget
£m
2020-21
Budget
£m
Scottish Welfare Fund 33.0 33.0 35.5
Discretionary Housing Payments - 'Bedroom Tax' Mitigation 50.1 52.3 59.7
Discretionary Housing Payments - other 10.9 10.9 12.9
Carer's Allowance - 283.0 291.6
Carer's Allowance Supplement - 37.0 38.8
Personal Independence Payment - - 1,582.9
Attendance Allowance - - 532.2
Disability Living Allowance (Adult) - - 501.9
Child Disability Assistance (DLA Child and DACYP) - - 216.6
Industrial Injuries Disablement Scheme - - 80.2
Severe Disablement Allowance - - 7.5
Best Start Grant - 12.4 17.5
Funeral Support Payment - 6.2 9.2
Job Start Payment - - 2.0
Young Carer Grant - - 1.0
Social Security 94.0 434.8 3,389.5
of which:
Fiscal Resource 94.0 434.8 3,380.3
Non-cash - - -
Capital - - -
Financial Transactions - - 9.2
UK Funded AME - - -

Contribution to National Outcomes

This table summarises the portfolio's contributions to the Outcomes of the National Performance Framework.

Table 14.05: National Outcome

Social Security

Primary National Outcome: Poverty

Secondary National Outcomes: Children and Young People, Human Rights

Social Security Scotland is actively contributing to tackling poverty in Scotland.

It will deliver the Scottish Child Payment, with the first payments to be made by Christmas 2020 for children under 6. Scottish Government estimates suggest that 170,000 children from approximately 140,000 low-income households will be eligible. Once fully rolled out in 2022, the benefit could help up to 410,000 children and reduce child poverty by 3 percentage points, lifting 30,000 out of poverty and helping to stop many more families just above the poverty line falling below it.

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 and the Social Security Charter recognise that social security is itself a human right and essential to the realisation of other human rights, which informs all our work for the people of Scotland. We are committed to developing a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.

Social Security Assistance

Primary National Outcome: Poverty

Secondary National Outcomes: Children and Young People, Human Rights

The Scottish Government is committed to providing support to help mitigate some of the worst impacts of UK Government cuts. As part of our mitigation, we will increase funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) in 2020-21.

  • The Scottish Welfare Fund is owned and managed by local authorities, providing a safety net for their residents on low incomes in crisis situations. Nearly £220 million has been paid out to more than 357,000 households in crisis since the Scottish Welfare Fund was introduced on 1 April 2013.
  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are a lifeline for a range of households affected by UK Government cuts or who struggle to meet rent or other housing costs. DHPs are the method we use to mitigate the Bedroom Tax in Scotland whilst working towards abolition through the Universal Credit system. DHPs are administered in Scotland by the 32 local authorities.
  • The Funeral Support Payment helps people meet the costs of a funeral. The benefit helps alleviate the burden of debt clients may face when paying for a funeral and so help reduce funeral poverty. We have committed additional funds to support the widened eligibility for Funeral Support Payment. In addition, we have increased the standard rate from £700 to £1,000 to support people further. It is expected to support a total of around 5,000 people each year.
  • The Young Carer Grant was launched on 21 October 2019 giving a cash support to teenage carers in Scotland. We estimate it to be an investment of around £700,000 to support almost 2,400 young carers in 2020-21.
  • Job Start Payment is a brand new benefit that will be launched in spring 2020. It will help young people aged 16-24 who have been out of paid employment and in receipt of an eligible benefit for 6 months or more. It will be a one-off payment of £250 (£400 if a young person has children) to cover the cost of transport to work, clothes or food. Care leavers can claim until they are 25. It is expected to help around 5,000 young people.

Disability Assistance for Children and Young People (DACYP) will commence in 2020-21, replacing UK Disability Living Allowance for children in Scotland. It will provide financial assistance to children, young people and their families to mitigate some of the increased costs incurred as a result of disability or a long-term condition. DACYP will help to ensure that these children and young people receive the support they need to meet their care and mobility needs. From winter 2020 we will be providing Child Winter Heating Assistance in the form of a lump sum payment of £200 to families with children in receipt of the highest care component of Disability Assistance for Children and Young People to supplement winter heating costs for families. The Scottish Government forecasts that the number of families that will benefit from the change will be approximately 16,000 in 2020-21. The cost of the proposed change in 2020-21 is anticipated to be £3 million and will be fully funded by the Scottish Government.

Equalities

Primary National Outcome: Human Rights

Secondary National Outcomes: Children and Young People, Human Rights

Human Rights and Equality are fundamental to the National Performance Framework outcomes, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which underpin them. Every one of the outcomes can only be fully delivered through a clear understanding of human rights and equality principles, and through their being applied consistently through decision making and action. This underpins our commitment to ensuring there is no regression in equality and human rights (particularly in the context of Brexit) and indeed maintaining pace and demonstrating leadership in their full realisation.

This budget supports an ambitious shift in approach to embedding Human Rights and Equality across the Scottish Government and wider Public Sector.

Example of activities in 2020-21:

  • support the work of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership, including delivery of a participatory approach to the development of the proposed Scottish Bill of Rights and implementation of the capacity building programme recommended by the First Minister's Advisory Group; and
  • deliver on the recommendations from the first report of the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, including a Gender Beacon Collaborative and gender-focused What Works? Institute, and take forward the initial response to the second report of the Council.

Contact

Email: BudgetandSustainabilitySupport@gov.scot