The Scotland Act 2016 devolved 11 social security benefits and gave the Scottish Government the power to create new benefits and top up existing ones. Implementing these powers is a major and complex programme of work for the Scottish Government and its social security agency, Social Security Scotland.
The Scottish Government has set a clear aim to deliver a service which is based on dignity, fairness and respect and plans to have completed the implementation and transfer of the benefits by 2024/25. Devolved social security expenditure is projected to increase from £3.7 billion in 2021-22 to approximately £5.2 billion in 2026-27. This is a significant, demand-led, element of the Scottish budget which will need to be managed alongside other priorities.
This audit will assess what progress the Scottish Government has made on managing the delivery of its devolved social security powers and the extent to which it is well placed to deliver the remaining benefits and a social security system which meets its aspirations. This audit is the latest in a series of work focussed on how Scotland’s new social security powers are being implemented and the impact they have for people in Scotland.