Date lodged: 23 April 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what advice it offers to local authorities that record (a) high levels of underspend on payments from and (b) lower than average levels of approved applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 2 May 2019
Local authorities are responsible for managing their budgets and are best placed to do so taking account of local circumstances. The Scottish Government’s statutory guidance to local authorities includes advice on how to manage Scottish Welfare Fund budgets to help them ensure that funds are available to meet the needs of vulnerable people throughout the year. Scottish Government officials work closely with their local authority counterparts to monitor trends in uptake, to seek explanations for any significant underspends and overspends and to facilitate the sharing of good practice between authorities via a quarterly practitioners forum.