This report presents an analysis of written responses to the Scottish Government's consultation on the Universal Credit Claims and Payments (Scotland) Regulations. This independent analysis was carried out by Craigforth.
The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the new powers provided for in the Scotland Act 2016 are used to give Scottish applicants more choice and control over their Universal Credit payments. Universal Credit is still reserved to the UK Government, but the Scottish Government's priority will be to use the flexibilities available to make sure that its delivery will be better suited to meet the needs of the people of Scotland. The purpose of this consultation was to ask if the Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2016 are fit for purpose, and whether there are any unintended consequences, in relation to the flexibilities that the Scottish Government is proposing to introduce.
The consultation ran for 8 weeks from 16 January 2017 to 13 March 2017. It was principally a technical consultation on the draft regulations and the policy has previously been discussed extensively with individuals and organisations. The consultation questionnaire contains 2 questions requiring yes/no answers, each with the option to provide additional information.
The consultation paper can be found at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/low-income-benefits/universal-credit-claims-and-payments/.
Profile of respondents
A total of 100 responses were submitted. The majority of these were received through the Scottish Government's online consultation hub. A profile of respondents by type is set out in Table 1 below. Organisational respondents have been placed into one of seven respondent types by the analysis team.
Table 1: Respondents by type
|Type of respondent||Number|
|Campaign Group or Third Sector organisation||12|
|Registered Social landlord||20|
The majority of responses, 70 out of 100, were submitted by organisations with the remaining 30 responses submitted by individual members of the public.
Points to note about the organisation respondent groups include:
- The Representative Body group includes COSLA and a number of housing sector membership bodies. These include bodies for both the social rented and private rented sectors.
- The 'Other' group is made up of two university-based respondents (a welfare-related research group and Scotland's National Adult Protection Coordinator).
A list of the organisations that submitted a response to the consultation is included as Annex 1 to this report, and copies of all responses to be published can be found on the Scottish Government's website at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/low-income-benefits/universal-credit-claims-and-payments/consultation/published_select_respondent.
Analysis and reporting
The remainder of this report presents a question-by-question analysis of the two main questions set out in the consultation document. The data at the closed part of each question (Yes/No) was analysed by respondent type. A small number of respondents did not make their submission through Citizen Space, but submitted their comments in a statement-style format. When these responses contained a very clear answer at the Yes/No elements this has been recorded. The remaining content was analysed qualitatively under the most directly relevant consultation question.
As with any engagement or consultation exercise, it is important to note that the views expressed and, by extension, the themes and issues presented below, are those of the organisations or individuals who chose to make a submission. These views cannot be assumed to be representative of the wider population.
Although this report provides an overview of all responses received, it should also be noted that some of the issues raised were outside the scope of this consultation and/or relate to issues which do not fall within the powers the Scottish Government now has through the Scotland Act 2016.
Email: Trish Brady-Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House