9. The Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC) is responsible for producing independent forecasts for devolved social security expenditure. For FEA, the SFC published forecasts alongside the Budget on 12 December 2018.
10. FEA represents an additional investment by the Scottish Government in comparison to current DWP Funeral Expenses Payment (FEP). Based on SFC forecasts, it is estimated that around 4,400 people will receive an FEA payment during the first full year of operation. This will result in expenditure of over £6 million each year, around £2 million more than for FEP. Administration costs for FEA form part of wider financial planning for Social Security Scotland.
11. The SFC forecasts that the number of people who will be eligible for FEA will be around 40% higher than those eligible under FEP at present and initially expects that 53% of those eligible will receive an FEA payment (based on average take-up rates for FEP over the last three years).
12. Building on the Act’s framework for a social security system that is founded on dignity, fairness and respect, Scottish Ministers are committed to supporting people to access their full entitlement. The Act requires Scottish Ministers to prepare a strategy to promote take up of the benefits it is administrating, including FEA.
Email: Mark Cook