Social Security (Up-rating) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2022: scrutiny report
The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the draft Social Security (Up-rating) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 with recommendations for the Scottish Government.
- Document Cover
- Summary of recommendations and observations
- Executive Summary
- Scottish Child Payment
- Best Start
- Child Winter Heating Assistance (CWHA)
- Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement (CCAS)
- Annex A: Overview – powers and constraints
- Annex B: Summary of key provisions in the draft
- Annex C: Scrutiny timeline
Annex A: Overview – powers and constraints
Areas where Scottish Government has powers to exercise discretion include:
- What index/ indices to use as the measure of inflation.
- Not to uprate any forms of assistance unless “in their opinion” it is “materially below its inflation-adjusted figure” (section 78(1)). In our 2020 report we asked the Scottish Government how it would define ‘materially below’, at which point we were told that policy was still under development.
- Whether ‘uprating’ is taken to mean solely maintaining the value of benefits or whether it can also mean increasing their value ‘in exceptional circumstances’.
- What they regard as ‘exceptional circumstances’ that would justify taking a different approach to the one set out.
- Whether only to report annually on inflation-adjusted figures for assistance covered in Part 2 Chapter 2 of the Act, or to maintain or increase their value.
Constraints on the exercise of discretion include:
- Whether the form of assistance if subject to an agency agreement with DWP who continue to administer it for the time being.
- The need to find funds from elsewhere, where funding for additional action is not included in the UK Government block grant.
- Which measures of inflation have the status of national statistics
- DWP policy changes.