Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015

This briefing looks in detail at the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill, highlighting areas that may be of of interest to churches in Scotland.

It placed the Scottish Welfare Fund into law from 1 April 2016, and provides certainty to stakeholders that local welfare provision will continue in Scotland, following the abolition of the discretionary Social Fund by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Act places a duty on local authorities to deliver the welfare funds, in line with regulations and guidance that will be issued by Scottish Ministers. Local authorities have been delivering the fund on an interim basis, under a voluntary agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA, since April 2013.

Published: August 2014

Scottish Churches’ Responses to Welfare Reform

The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office designed and distributed a survey, ‘Responding to Welfare Reform: Scottish Churches’ responses to social need’, to carry out research into the role of local churches in responding to social needs within communities. This briefing provides a snapshot of the results of the survey.

Published: November 2013

Welfare Reform: Universal Credit and the ‘Bedroom Tax’

This briefing sets out the main aspects of the new ‘Universal Credit’, and will focus on one recent aspect of reform –  the spare room subsidy, also known as ‘the bedroom tax’. Although not intended to be an exhaustive description of the changes taking place this briefing considers the roles of the UK Government, Scottish Government and local authorities in these reforms. At the end of the briefing, there are a number of action points for individuals and congregations to consider.

Published: May 2013