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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-15427: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 March 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-14366 by Derek Mackay on 20 February 2018, how many people receiving universal credit (a) are currently and (b) will be affected by the complex interaction between Scottish income tax policy and entitlement to universal credit by the end of 2018-19.

Answered by: Derek Mackay 18 April 2018

The Scottish Government does not have access to the data required to provide robust estimates and has asked the UK Government to share its data. The majority of current UC claimant households will not be affected by the interaction at all because they will not include any individuals who pay income tax. The size of the portion who are affected will depend on the pattern of UC rollout and migration.

The latest Department for Work and Pensions statistics indicate there are 65,000 Scottish households in receipt of Universal Credit as of December 2017. Based on the latest forecast data shared with us by DWP, we estimate that there would be around 150,000 Scottish households in receipt of Universal Credit by the end of the 2018-19 tax year but very few of these will include individuals who pay income tax. Some households will receive more UC as a result of paying more income tax. It is not yet possible to determine whether this will result in a net gain (or a net loss) for the UK or Scottish Governments.