Scottish Government cash to 'mitigate UK welfare cuts'
People hit hardest by the UK welfare cuts will receive extra money from the Scottish Government as part of a £125m investment to “mitigate the worst impact” of the reforms.
Scottish Ministers are on course to invest the money in 2018-19 to protect those on low incomes.
The new Social Security Scotland agency has already spent £34m making more than 150,000 payments of Carers Allowance Supplement and Best Start Grants, with applications for the latter only opening last month.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “I am proud that in the first three months of its operations Social Security Scotland has been able to provide significant extra help to carers and low income families with children.
“However these figures starkly illustrate the significant challenge we face in providing support to those who need it while not having all the powers that would allow us to make a greater difference.
“We are investing over £125 million this financial year on measures that mitigate the very worst impact of UK Government welfare cuts and protect those on low incomes - investments such as £63 million on Discretionary Housing Payments which includes around £51 million to mitigate the bedroom tax in full, £38 million for the Scottish Welfare Fund, and £1.8 million to launch our new financial health check service which will be backed by a further £1.5 million next year.”
Somerville added: “As we enter the new year and Social Security Scotland delivers more benefits and helps more people, we will see even more clearly the difference between the UK Government approach to social security and a distinctive Scottish service based upon the principles of fairness, dignity and respect.”
UK Government welfare cuts since 2010 are expected to reduce welfare spending in Scotland by around £3.7 billion in 2020/21.