Scottish Child Payment Amendment Regulations 2021: scrutiny report

Scottish Commission on Social Security scrutiny report on the draft Scottish Child Payment Amendment Regulations 2021 with recommendations for the Scottish Government.

Summary of recommendations

Recommendation 1 – We recommend that accessible guidance for decision makers and SCP applicants should provide full detail on complex situations where an award is continuing at a nil rate rather than simply ending.

Recommendation 2 – We recommend that processes and guidance are clear about whether an overpayment of SCP that arises because of a retrospective nil award of tax credits would be recoverable in law or in practice.

Recommendation 3 – We recommend that the draft regulations be amended, in line with the Scottish Government’s policy intention, to ensure that the first payment for a new claim is paid for a full week or full weeks.

Recommendation 4 – We recommend that the term ‘sanction’ be defined in the draft regulations, and that the Scottish Government should seek to align the meaning of this term across all relevant types of assistance.

Recommendation 5 – We recommend that the Scottish Government explore the case for building-in testing at a much earlier stage, to ensure the correct alignment between policy intent and the wording of draft regulations, and build in a consistency check in the drafting of future regulations for SCP and other types of assistance.

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