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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19367: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what budget it currently expects the new social security agency to have in each year from 2018 to 2021 for (a) staffing, (b) IT/technology, (c) facilities and property and (d) other ongoing expenses.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 7 November 2018

The financial memorandum for the Social Security (Scotland) Bill, published in June 2017, outlined the estimate costs for the new social security agency. These estimates were drawn from the Outline Business Case for the Agency for Social Security in Scotland, published in April 2017. In a steady state, depending on the model of delivery for assessments, the point estimate costs of the social security agency range between £144 million and £156 million per annum in 2016-17 prices. This estimate was broken down as between £83 million to £84 million per annum on operating costs; an estimate £21 million per annum on pre claim support services; between £25 million to £35 million per annum on assessment services; and between £15 million to £17 million per annum on estates.

Social Security devolution is a complex and multi-year programme of activity. This process is not yet complete and the social security agency will not reach a steady state until devolution is complete. The Scottish Parliament will set a budget annually for Social Security Scotland as part of the normal budget process.

On 1 September 2018, Social Security Scotland became an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. The 2018-19 budget for the Agency is expected to be £17.7 million. This can be broken down as £7.2 million on staffing; £3.4 million on IT/technology; £0.7 million on facilities and property; and £6.4 million on other expenses. The 2018-19 budget for the Agency will be confirmed through the spring revision to the Scottish Government's 2018-19 budget.