The Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendment and Transitional Provision) (Scotland) Regulations 2022: Fairer Scotland Duty impact assessment summary
Assesses the impact of changes to Best Start Foods, Best Start Grants and Scottish Child Payment on socio-economic inequality. This duty came into force in Scotland in 2018 and is set out in Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010. It considers issues such as low income, low wealth and area deprivation.
Summary of aims and expected outcomes of strategy, proposal, programme or policy
Scottish Child Payment (SCP), Best Start Foods (BSF) and the 3 Best Start Grant (BSG) payments – Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment - are known collectively as the Five Family Payments (FFP). Delivered by Social Security Scotland, they are five different payments which aim to provide support to low income families with the costs of raising a child. All five payments intend to tackle inequality, improve outcomes and make a positive impact on all of the priority groups identified in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.
These regulations will introduce a number of changes which are intended to address inequalities of outcome and reduce the depth of poverty for those groups most in need by:
- providing greater support to more children in poverty;
- providing greater support to low income families with a new child who are likely to be starting from scratch;
- providing a more compassionate and dignified system in the event of the death of a child; and
- making it easier for families to access the support they are entitled to
These amendment regulations will allow SCP to be rolled out to children aged between 6 and 15 and will increase the value of SCP to £25 a week for all eligible children. They will also ensure that, in the unfortunate situation where a child to whom a claim relates dies, these amendments will also provide for a payment, equivalent to the value of Scottish Child Payments made in the 12 weeks prior to the child's death, to be made. This will bring the payment closer in line with the reserved benefits which act as qualifying benefits for SCP. These qualifying benefits allow a run on of up to 12 weeks payment in the same circumstances. The changes will also allow reinstatement of SCP within 12 weeks of effective change, rather than within 12 weeks of original determination.
The amendments will also make changes to BSG in order to:
- introduce auto-award for the Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment for eligible applicants in receipt of Scottish Child Payment;
- provide new exceptions to the general rule, that an individual is only entitled to the higher Pregnancy and Baby Payment when they are applying in respect of their first child for families in the following situations, who are more likely to be starting from scratch without the items that the Pregnancy and Baby payment is intended to provide:
- o individuals granted refugee status, humanitarian protection, or leave under the Afghanistan resettlement schemes or the Ukraine resettlement schemes, who have a child/children from before they arrived in the UK;
- o individuals who took on responsibility for a child who was not their own when that child/children was more than 12 months old; and
- o individuals who have been forced to leave their home with a child/children due to domestic abuse
- remove the condition that the child is not looked after by the local authority in residential care
The amendments will also make changes to both BSG and BSF to update the meaning of surrogacy to mirror changes to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.
We are also widening the definition of kinship care across BSG, BSF and SCP to ensure that, as we roll out Scottish Child Payment to children aged between 6 and 15, eligible kinship carers who are not related to the child but are known to them and have a pre-existing relationship with the child are included.
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