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Publication - Report

Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012: annual report 2017

Published: 29 Jun 2017
Part of:
Communities and third sector, Equality and rights

Report on the impacts of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 on the people of Scotland and other welfare measures passed since 2010.

100 page PDF


100 page PDF


Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012: annual report 2017

100 page PDF



1. Office for Budget Responsibility (2016) 'Welfare Trends Report'

2. Note: adjusted to take into account measures announced since the OBR analysis was conducted.

3. Beatty, C. & Fothergill, S. (2016) ' The Impact on Scotland of the new Welfare Reforms', Sheffield Hallam.

4. Note: This figure represents the impact of the new benefit cap by 2020/21. The impact of the previous cap will be in addition to this figure. The impact of the new benefit cap is expected to be greater in the first years of rollout, reducing by 2020/21 due to other changes in the welfare system.

5. Hood & Waters (2017 ) 'Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2016-17 to 2021-22', Institute of Fiscal Studies.

6. Note - measures to introduce size criteria in social sector Housing Benefit eligibility, and make deductions against under-occupancy are most commonly called the 'bedroom tax'. DWP prefers the term 'Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy', and other terms are used elsewhere. For clarity this paper uses the more familiar and popular term.

7. 'Welfare Reform Act 2012' can be found at:

8. Audit Scotland (2013), ' Welfare Reform Update', Accounts Commission.

9. DWP (May 2015) ' 2010 to 2015 Government Policy: Welfare Reform'.

10. An initial report was produced in 2013, and can be found at:

11. 'Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012' (section 4: Impact of reform: annual reporting), can be found at:

12. The lower benefit cap was introduced from November 2016.

13. Office for Budget Responsibility (2016) 'Welfare Trends Report'

14. Note - these are not considered as separate policies, but are taken account of in the updated costings of relevant policy measures.

15. DWP (2012) ' Universal Credit Impact Assessment'

16. Note - the numbers in brackets refer to the relevant measures in table 1.

17. Note - the measure of inflation used in relation to uprating of most welfare benefits is the Consumer Price Index.

18. Note - there are a number of technical differences between CPI and RPI measures of inflation. One of the key differences is that RPI accounts for changes in housing costs, whilst CPI does not. CPI has been historically lower than RPI.

19. Note - source for financial impact of welfare measures is Office for Budget Responsibility (2016) ' Welfare Trends Report'

20. For more details on PIP and UC see sections 8.1 and 9.1.

21. DWP (2012) ' Disability Living Allowance Reform Impact Assessment'

22. Note -based on caseload data for PIP and DLA as at February 2016 (Source: Stat-Xplore)

23. Source: OBR (2016) ' Welfare Trends Report'

24. Note - Child Benefit is removed gradually from families with one person earning over £50,000, with those earning over £60,000 losing all of their Child Benefit entitlement.

25. Note - at the time the parliamentary term was expected to be between 2015/16 and 2020/21.

26. Note - this was the estimate of savings at the time of the Summer Budget. Current estimates put the saving at £4.5 billion based on higher expected inflation in 2017-18 and 2018-19 (see section 3.2).

27. Scottish Government (2014) ' UK Government cuts to welfare expenditure in Scotland -Budget 2014'

28. Note - the SG analysis above uses a figure of £26,860 (thousand), the difference is due to rounding.

29. Note - the baseline projection includes pre-coalition UK government policy whose implementation affected the welfare system after 2010-11 and other factors such as increases in disability benefits claim rates (see OBR report for full methodology). The projection in figure 1 shows the difference arising from UK government policy only.

30. Note - this figure is derived from OBR analysis, the OBR report a figure which includes other factors that increased spending in the 2010 counterfactual scenario.

31. Note - the uprating of Local Housing Allowance by CPI was the only uprating measure announced within the Act.

32. Note - for more information on the difference between CPI and RPI indexes, see Browne & Levell (2010) available at:

33. Note - the estimated impact of this measure has increased since the OBR produced their estimate (October 2016) due to upward revisions to CPI inflation forecasts. Resolution Foundation estimates are used here instead (see section 8.5)

34. Note - share of spending used where available, in other cases a share of caseload may have been used. For a full methodology see annex A.

35. Note - this is the impact of the lower benefit cap introduced in November 2016 by 2020/21 and excludes the impact of the previous cap introduced by the Act.

36. Note - it should be noted that because households continuously flow on and off of the benefit cap, the number of individual households affected in a year will be more than the number affected in a given month.

37. Note - it should be noted that the household level impact in Scotland from this policy is likely to be lower due to the lower average housing benefit awards in Scotland compared to GB.

38. Note - exemptions to this rule include Dumfries and Galloway, where the impact of changes to support for mortgage interest has a bigger impact than the ESA WRAG reduction measure.

39. Beatty, C. & Fothergill, S. (2016) ' The Impact on Scotland of the new Welfare Reforms', Sheffield Hallam.

40. Ibid.

41. Note - this is significantly less than the £190 million estimated by Sheffield Hallam - see Beatty, C. & Fothergill, S. (2016) - which was based on UK Government expectations of the savings from PIP.

42. Note - based on detailed reassessment outcome statistics published by DWP in October 2016, which covers all reassessment outcomes from April 2013 to October 2016.
Available here:

43. Note - some people who have maintained the same level award may also decide to appeal the decision to seek a higher award.

44. Note - this assumes that the Scottish working-age DLA caseload at the beginning of the reassessment process stood at around 220,000 based on caseload data for 2011 ( Stat-Xplore).

45. Office for Budget Responsibility (March 2016) ' Economic and Fiscal Outlook'

46. HMRC (December 2016) ' Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics, UK'.

47. DWP (July 2015) ' Welfare Reform and Work Bill: Impact Assessment of Tax Credits and Universal Credit, changes to Child Element and Family Element'.

48. CPAG (May 2016) 'Universal credit: cuts to work allowances'.

49. Women's Aid and TUC (March 2015) 'Unequal and trapped: Women's Experiences of Financial Abuse and the Potential Implications for Universal Credit'.

50. Source: Stat-Xplore

51. Based on the number of people on UC dataset, average gender split over each month of 2016 ( Stat-Xplore)

52. Sense (June 2011) 'Moving from incapacity benefits to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) via the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)'.

53. E.g. Spartacus Network (April 2015) 'Work Capability Assessments: Deaths and Suicides', April 2015; and Unison (n.d.) '5 Welfare Reform Changes Affecting Disabled People'.

54. Litchfield, P (November 2014) 'An Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment - year five'.

55. DWP (October 2011) 'Time limiting contributory Employment and Support Allowance to one year for those in the work-related activity group'.

56. Disability Rights UK (November 2016) 'ESA WRAG Cut Briefing'.

57. Office for Budget Responsibility (March 2016) 'Economic and Fiscal Outlook'.

58. Source - Stat-Xplore

59. CAS (2013) ' A tidal wave of change: The impact of benefit reforms, changes, and cuts on people and families in Scotland'.

60. Scottish Government (October 2014) 'The Impact of Welfare Reform in Scotland - Tracking Study'.

61. Gray, P (March 2017) 'The Second Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment'.

62. DWP (March 2017) 'Personal Independence Payments: Official Statistics'.

63. MOJ (March 2017) ' Tribunals and Gender Recognition Statistics Quarterly, October to December 2016 (provisional)'.

64. Gray, P (March 2017) 'The Second Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment'.

65. ' PIP Written statement - HCWS611' (11 March 2016)

66. DWP (December 2012) 'Personal Independence Payments: Reassessments and Impacts'.

67. Note - Scottish Government analysis, applies detailed reassessment outcomes as published in October 2016 and applies to 2012 DWP caseload projections.

68. Scottish Government (February 2017) 'Analysis of written Responses to the Consultation on Social Security in Scotland'.

69. DWP (October 2011) 'Abolition of concessionary Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 'youth' National Insurance qualification conditions'.

70. Note - the UK government does not hold data on ESA 'youth' cases.

71. ' Written question - 60655' (24 January 2017)

72. Source - Stat-Xplore (all JSA sanction decisions in Scotland - includes individuals subject to multiple sanctions)

73. DWP (December 2012) 'Universal Credit Impact Assessment'.

74. DWP (July 2015) 'Welfare Reform and Work Bill: Impact Assessment of Tax Credits and Universal Credit, changes to Child Element and Family Element'.

75. Runnymede Trust (July 2015) 'The 2015 Budget: Effects on Black and minority ethnic people'.

76. Hood, A & Water, T. (March 2017) 'Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2016-17 to 2021-22', Institute of Fiscal Studies

77. Hood, A & Waters, T (May 2017) ' Incomes and inequality: the last decade and the next parliament' and Hood, A and Waters, T (April 2017) ' The impact of tax and benefit reforms on household incomes'.

78. Note - those being rolled out or planned by the 2015-2017 UK Conservative government. The analysis shows the impact on household income once all these policies have been fully implemented.

79. Note - in 2017/18 DHPs became a fully devolved benefit and DWP funding was not provided directly to local authorities to fund DHPs.

80. Scottish Government (December 2016) ' Scotland's Spending Plans and Draft Budget 2017-18'.

81. Note - this funding includes SG funding for Advice Services, the Fair Food Transformations Fund and Fareshare program.

82. Scottish Government (April 2017) 'Scottish Welfare Fund Guidance'.

83. Note - six benefits include: Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance ( JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA), Income Support ( IS), Working Tax Credit ( WTC), Child Tax Credit ( CTC) and Housing Benefit ( HB).

84. Note - Household level statistics are also available up to December 2015. They show that 41,300 households claimed UC and 26,900 were receiving a UC payment. UC households which move into work stay on the UC system for a period of 6 months.

85. Note - The following job centre office areas have UC full service as of May 2017: Inverness, Musselburgh, Kirkintilloch, Port Glasgow, Greenock, Dalkeith and Penicuik.

86. Similar restrictions for Child Tax Credits were also introduced. These changes are not strictly related to the Welfare Reform Act provisions.

87. DWP (December 2015) ' Universal Credit: Estimating the Early Labour Market Impacts'.

88. Browne, J., Hood, A. & Joyce, R. (February 2016) ' The (changing) Effects of Universal Credit', Institute of Fiscal Studies.

89. Equality and Human Rights Commission (April 2017) 'Letter to Minister of State for Employment - Damian Hinds MP'.

90. Note - only ESA claimants who are in the 'work-related activity group' are affected. Only UC claimants with work requirements can be subject to a sanction.

91. Note - not all claimants are required to search for work.

92. Note - the trial covered 3 districts in Scotland: East and South-East Scotland; Glasgow, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire; West of Scotland

93. Note - there may be some overlap between individuals being sanctioned under different benefit regimes. For example, a person moving from JSA to UC in 2016 may have been sanctioned twice under both benefits.

94. Note - caseload data is only released every quarter, which is why months are missing from table 13.

95. Note- the UC caseload for this calculation is the number of people on UC, excluding those in the 'working - no requirements' and 'no work requirements' conditionality groups.

96. Scottish Government (November 2014) ' JSA Sanctions in Scotland: An analysis of the sanctions applied to claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance in Scotland'.

97. For more detail, see DWP, (December 2016) 'JSA Sanctions Early Warning Trial Evaluation - Interim report'.

98. Kennedy, S et al. (November 2016) ' The Benefit Cap', House of Commons Library.

99. Note - Scottish Government analysis based on figures from DWP's Stat-Xplore (18 May 2016). This includes households affected by the old and new cap.

100. Note - it is not possible to identify households affected by the old cap in DWP data for period were the new cap was in place.

101. Resolution Foundation (March 2017) 'Are we nearly there yet? Spring budget 2017 and the 15 year squeeze on family and public finances'.

102. Source - Stat-Xplore

103. DWP (February 2017) 'The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017'.

104. Gray, P. (March 2017) 'The Second Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment'.

105. Source - Stat-Xplore

106. Note - Figures to not add to 100% due to rounding error.

107. Source - MoJ ' Tribunal Statistics'.

108. Scottish Government (July 2015) ' ESA Sanctions in Scotland - July 2015'.

109. Note - entitlement to contribution based ESA is based on the number of years of National Insurance ( NI) contributions made by a claimant. Eligible claimants with insufficient NI contributions will claim Income-based ESA.

110. HM Treasury (March 2017) 'Spring Budget 2017'.

111. Source - Stat-Xplore

112. Note - All figures given to the nearest 1000.

113. Scottish Government (June 2013) 'Updated Evidence on the Number of Households Affected by the Housing Benefit Under Occupation Penalty'.

114. C. Beatty, et al. (May 2013 ) 'Monitoring the Impact of Changes to the Local Housing Allowance System of Housing Benefit'.

115. Ibid.

116. Note - based on the latest estimate of 2.34 million households in Scotland which can be found at: National Records of Scotland (June 2016) 'Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2015'.

117. Scottish Government (September 2016) 'Housing Statistics for Scotland - Key Information and Summary Tables'.

118. Chartered Institute of Housing (May 2016) 'Mind the Gap'.

119. DWP (July 2014) 'The impact of recent reforms to Local Housing Allowances: Summary of key findings'.

120. Note - In September 2016, DWP postponed introduction of the policy, originally set for April 2018. In November 2016 it was announced that the policy would now apply to all cases on the UC full service from April 2019, with savings provisions for households later migrated from housing benefit, the extent of the savings provisions is not currently clear.

121. Note - This has been applicable in the private rented sector pre-2015.

122. House of Commons Library (December 2016) ' Local Housing Allowance and the social rented sector'

123. Note - The regional variation of the impact of the LHA cap across the UK will be considerable. More households will be affected in areas where the gap between rents in the social sector and the LHA rate is currently small.

124. Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland (September 2016) 'Supported Housing exemption from the LHA cap up to 2019/20'

125. Homes and Communities Agency (June 2016) 'Delivering Better Value for Money: Understanding Differences in Unit Costs'

126. Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (September 2016) ' Second SFHA report on the capping of social rents to the rate of the local housing allowance'.

127. Note - there is uncertainty over whether existing pre 2016 tenants moving from HB to UC before April 2019 will receive transitional protection from potential reductions in entitlement.

128. Note - other exemptions are set out here:

129. National Housing Federation (October 2016) ' Impact of applying Local Housing Allowance rates to general needs social tenants'

130. Note - some people will be exempt, but the researchers were unable to isolate these categories from the figures.

131. Note - not all of these policies would not be possible in Scotland

132. Inside Housing (June 2016) ' Under 35, on housing benefit and impossible to house?' quoted in House of Commons Library (December 2016) Local Housing Allowance and the social rented sector'

133. Chartered Institute of Housing (March 2017) 'Blog: assessing the impact of LHA caps for young people living in Scotland'

134. Note - specifically the aspect of UC as a single-payment to the households, rather than a split payment to a landlord and the 6 week waiting time for the first UC payment.

135. Cole, I. et al (July 2014) 'The Impact of Recent Reforms to Local Housing Allowances, Summary of Key Findings', DWP.

136. Note - this change has already been introduced in the Private Rented Sector.

137. DWP (December 2015 ) 'Evaluation of Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy, Final Report'.

138. Scottish Government. (June 2013) ' Updated Evidence on the Number of Households Affected by the Housing Benefit Under Occupation Penalty'.

139. North Lanarkshire Council. (September 2014) ' Written Submission to the Scottish Parliament Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee's Homelessness in Scotland Inquiry'.

140. Beatty, C. et al (July 2014) 'The Impact of Recent Reforms to Local Housing Allowances, Summary of Key Findings', DWP.

141. National Housing Federation (January 2015) ' Welfare Reform Impact Assessment'

142. Beatty, C. et al (July 2014) 'The Impact of Recent Reforms to Local Housing Allowances, Summary of Key Findings', DWP.

143. Ibid.

144. Ibid.

145. Note - it should be noted that not all of these avenues are legally open to Social Sector landlords.

146. Scottish Housing Best Value Network (March 2014) ' The Impact of the Bedroom Tax on Stock Management by Social Landlords'

147. Scottish Housing Regulator (April 2014) Impact of Welfare Reform on Rent Arrears: Research Report

148. Scottish Housing Regulator (March 2017) ' Analysis of the Finances of the Registered Social Landlords'.

149. Highland council (February 2017) ' Community Services Performance Report - 1 April 2016 to 31 December 2016'.

150. Note - sources include the Scottish Government Housing Revenue Account ( HRA) Statistics, the Scottish Housing Regulator ( SHR) Social Housing Charter Data and the Scottish Government Homelessness Data (HLN1).

151. Inside Housing (January 2017) 'Universal Credit tenants in arrears increase to 86%'.

152. Note - survey was conducted in UC areas in England only

153. Source - Stat-Xplore is available at:

154. Note - NOMIS is available at:

155. Note - Personalised Tax Credit Statistics are available at:

156. Note - used for JSA only. Average UC awards in Scotland were lower than in GB, driven by lower housing costs.

157. Bell, T (2016) ' The Budget will be a walk in the park for the Chancellor, but tere are still mountains to climb'

158. Resolution Foundation (March 2017) 'Are we nearly there yet? Spring budget 2017 and the 15 year squeeze on family and public finances'

159. Page,R (2016) ' Home Ownership Statistics', House of Commons Library Briefing.

160. DWP (August 2016) ' Welfare Reform and Work Act: Impact Assessment for the benefit cap', Impact Assessment

161. Stat-Xplore is available at:

162. NOMIS is available at:

163. Personalised Tax Credit Statistics are available at:

164. Source - Personalised Tax Credits Provisional Statistics

165. National Housing Federation (2016) ' Impact of applying Local Housing Allowance Rates to general needs social tenants'.

166. DWP (2015) ' Benefit Freeze: Impact Assessment'

167. Household Projections for Scotland, 2014-based, available at:

168. Provisional Personal Tax Credit Statistics (December 2016) available at:

169. DWP (2015) ' Welfare Reform and Work Bill: Impact Assessment of Tax Credits and Universal Credit, changes to Child Element and Family Element'

170. Note - the share used for both estimates is families in receipt of child tax credits with children. This may overestimate the number of households affected by the 2 child limit by 2020/21, however in the long-run around this number of households may be affected, subject to the number of exemptions.

171. Institute of Fiscal Studies (2015) 'The Budget and Spending Review - what do they mean for social housing?'

172. DWP (2015) ' Impact Assessment to remove the ESA Work-Related Activity Component and the UC Limited Capability for Work Element for new claims'.

173. Available at:

174. DWP (2015) ' Welfare Reform and Work Bill: Impact Assessment of the change in conditionality for responsible carers on Universal Credit'


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