When will the Scottish Government begin delivering benefits being devolved in the Scotland Act 2016?
This is part of the biggest transfer of powers since devolution began and we have always been clear that by the end of this parliamentary term the Scottish Government will be delivering the devolved benefits we will have responsibility for.
The first new benefits to be delivered will include:
- Carer’s Allowance – increased to the same level as Jobseeker’s Allowance from Summer 2018.
- A Best Start Grant, replacing the Sure Start Maternity Grant, introduced from Summer 2019. This will provide an increased one-off grant of £600 for the first child in low income families and a £300 payment for subsequent children and two payments of £250 each during a child’s early years.
- Funeral Expense Assistance from summer 2019: with applications processed within 10 days – significantly faster than at present.
The transfer of social security powers will mean delivering more payments in a week than the Scottish Government currently does in a year. That is complex and means we need to pass new laws and build the required infrastructure so that the Scottish Government can deliver the benefits instead of the DWP.
As 1.4 million people rely on these benefits we have to make sure we get that in place and get it right for them – ensuring that everyone reliant on benefits receives the money to which they are entitled on the day when it is due. That’s why the safe and secure transition of the devolved benefits remains our absolute priority.