UK government delays hampering rollout of the Scottish Child Payment

Both the UK and Scottish governments have agreed to maintain their collaborative work on the design and execution of welfare payments to assist individuals throughout Scotland.

The announcement comes as the Scottish Affairs Committee releases the answers of both administrations to its report on Welfare Policy in Scotland.

Both governments highlighted the areas on which they continue to collaborate, ranging from the Joint Ministerial Working Group to the Scottish Devolution Data Sharing Board.

The Scottish Affairs Committee expressed concern in its report about the continued challenges surrounding the UK Government’s provision of necessary data to the Scottish Government for children aged six to sixteen in order to support the rollout of the Scottish Child Payment to that age group.

The Scottish Government has not yet been supplied with the data, but it reiterates its commitment to working with the UK Government to find a solution.

Meanwhile, the UK Government said that data is not easily available and that every effort should be made to comprehend the data that is available to adopt new regulations prior to moving forward with implementation.

The Committee recommended that both the UK and Scottish governments enlighten potential users about the breadth of available resources. The Committee singled out the UK Government’s promotion of independent benefits calculators as a particularly beneficial tool.

The Scottish Government noted in its answer that it will examine accessibility as part of its efforts to ensure guidance is clear and easy to browse for potential claimants.

Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart MP, said: “The welfare system must work for everyone. I am pleased that both the UK and Scottish Governments, in response to our report, acknowledge the necessity for joint working to improve information sharing and to give welfare claimants the best possible service.

“Although our Committee is disappointed with the level of inaction on the Scottish Child Payment, I do hope that a solution can soon be identified and acted upon.

“It is critical, where some social security is devolved, for close collaboration on policy design and data sharing.

“I hope both governments take these learnings forward for the benefit of future welfare recipients.”

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