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19/03/15 09:50

New social security powers

Scottish Government sets out first details on devolved benefits

Detailed information on the scale and reach of social security benefits to be devolved to Scotland has been published.

The new report gives Scottish specific statistics on each of the 11 benefits that will be controlled by the Scottish Parliament, such as number of claims, gender and age breakdown and current spending on these benefits in Scotland.

These benefits accounted for £2.5 billion expenditure in 2013/14 - nearly £1.5 billion was on Disability Living Allowance while just £1 million went on Cold Weather Payments.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said:

"I welcome the new social security powers coming to Scotland and this publication helps us understand the scale and reach of these benefits.

"Devolving social security powers gives us more opportunity to tackle inequality and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland. It also gives us a chance to show that there is an alternative to the UK Government’s welfare cuts.

"We must consider how the new powers can complement devolved services and I look forward to listening to people and organisations across Scotland over the next few months to hear their ideas on how we can use these powers to the very best effect.”

Notes to editors

Full publication available here:

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/1692