A picture containing indoor, person, table, floor

Description automatically generated

Yesterday at Holyrood, Michelle Ballantyne (SCAUP) asked the Scottish Government what plans Social Security Scotland has to prevent future benefits overpayments.

Click to access WA20191018.pdf

As I read this, I was reminded that overpayment is not really the problem as huge numbers of benefits go unclaimed. See this from September 9th, 2019:

Statistics from HMRC and DWP estimated that in 2016/17 only 31% of families without children eligible for Working Tax Credit claimed, while only 60% of those eligible for Pension Credit claimed. However, the full extent of benefit non-take-up in the UK is unknown because of difficulties in estimating eligibility. The [Social Security] Committee is also investigating how technology could help automate some benefits to improve take-up and how take-up rates for the new Scottish social security benefits will be impacted by their link to the take-up rates for UK benefits.


So, only 2.2% of total benefit payment is estimated to be overpaid but 69% of families and 40% of pensioners don’t make claims they are entitled to. As life expectancy stalls among Scotland’s poor, you can trust the Scottish Tories to focus on the real priorities.