The Social Security (Up-rating) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2023: scrutiny report

The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the Social Security (Up-rating) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2023

6. Approach to scrutiny

In keeping with our role to scrutinise social security regulations, this report provides commentary in connection with human rights and the social security principles set out in Section 1 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018,[51] as operationalised via Our Charter.[52]

The Minister for Social Security and Local Government referred the draft regulations to SCoSS,[53] along with the section 86A report[54] and Policy Note,[55] on 19 December 2022. We were given a deadline for reporting of 20 January 2023. Given the interdependencies between up-rating, the Scottish Budget, the Westminster budget, and the need to introduce changes by the start of the financial year, there is little flexibility possible in timescales for reporting and limited scope to consult stakeholders, should it be felt helpful.

The speed with which these Regulations were required to be considered by SCoSS, as a result of the later than usual Scottish Government budget process, had direct implications for our approach to scrutiny. SCoSS was unable to conduct detailed stakeholder engagement in relation to up-rating due to the short timeframe available for scrutiny. SCoSS undertook some limited desk-based research to identify public commentary on the budget and the impact of the cost of living crisis. Relevant commentary has been reflected throughout this report. We are grateful for the efforts made by officials to keep us appraised of developments.

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