Date lodged: 17 September 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Scottish Fiscal Commission's forecast regarding (a) the uptake of and (b) expenditure on the Best Start Grant in 2018-19.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 3 October 2018
We welcome the first forecasts for the Best Start Pregnancy and Baby Grant from the Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC).
The SFC report highlights the uncertainties around take-up rates and expenditure. There are particular uncertainties with these estimates given that this will be the first benefit to be administered by Social Security Scotland.
The SFC figures were lower than those previously published by the Scottish Government (SG). The main reason for the difference in forecasts is that SFC have assumed lower take-up rates than were used in forecasts previously prepared by SG analysts.
We welcome the SFC's commitment to review data as it becomes available to inform future forecasts.