New analysis by Prof David Bell, a CCC Fellow based at the University of Stirling, has concluded that those benefits newly devolved under the Scotland Act 2016, “are typically older, more likely to be single following the death of a partner, not in employment and heavily dependent on benefits and pensions rather than earned income”.
Professor Bell adds, “Further, those receiving devolved benefits are much less likely to be in households where children are present.”
The report, Who Will be Affected by Scotland’s New Welfare Powers [PDF], notes that those benefits chosen for devolution under the Act focus particularly on those received by older people and disabled people. However, the paper notes that political discussion has frequently involved benefits in other areas.
Professor Bell notes that: “There has been extensive debate around the potential for redesigning Scotland’s welfare system. The SNP has extensive proposals which include linking payments of Scottish benefits to inflation, abolishing the bedroom tax, halting the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with PIP, and increasing Carers’ Allowance. These will all come at some cost and, as mentioned above, may have to be found either from higher taxation or reduced spending elsewhere.”