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