- Document Cover
- About the Scottish Commission on Social Security
- Summary of recommendations and observations
- Executive summary
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Inflation
- 3. Scottish Child Payment
- 4. Adult Disability Payment
- 5. Earnings thresholds
- 6. Approach to scrutiny
- Annex A: Overview – powers and constraints
- Annex B: Inflation of food and fuel costs
- Annex C: Scrutiny timeline
About the Scottish Commission on Social Security
The Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) plays an essential role in the development and delivery of a Scottish Social Security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.
We provide independent scrutiny of the Scottish social security system and our full functions are set out in section 22 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018.
We provide detailed analysis of proposed social security regulations which are referred to us by Ministers, making recommendations for improvement where necessary.
Our role is also to scrutinise the Scottish Government’s delivery of the commitments set out in the Social Security Charter.
We are separate from the Scottish Government, and we carry out our work independently of both Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament.
SCoSS takes the Scottish social security principles, as laid out in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, into consideration when scrutinising proposed social security legislation and regulations. The Scottish social security principles are:
(a) social security is an investment in the people of Scotland,
(b) social security is itself a human right and essential to the realisation of other human rights,
(c) the delivery of social security is a public service,
(d) respect for the dignity of individuals is to be at the heart of the Scottish social security system,
(e) the Scottish social security system is to contribute to reducing poverty in Scotland,
(f) the Scottish social security system is to be designed with the people of Scotland on the basis of evidence,
(g) opportunities are to be sought to continuously improve the Scottish social security system in ways which—
(i) put the needs of those who require assistance first, and
(ii) advance equality and non-discrimination,
(h) the Scottish social security system is to be efficient and deliver value for money.
This report details our views on the up-rating of Scottish social security payments as per the Social Security (Up-rating) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2023. All of the Scottish social security principles are important to successful delivery of social security in Scotland, and in relation to up-rating SCoSS identified principles (a), (b), (e), (f) and (g) as key in guiding our scrutiny.
Up-rating of social security payments takes place in April each year and is based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate recorded in the previous September. This year the September CPI rate was 10.1%. Scottish Child Payment has already been increased from £20 to £25; all other Scottish social security payments will be up-rated in April 2023 by the September CPI rate. The regulations do not appear to be controversial and we recognise and welcome the increase to Scottish Child Payment in November 2022 though we make recommendations and observations on key implications of having increased the value of a benefit earlier in the year.
 Office for National Statistics, Consumer price inflation, UK: October 2022