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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09487: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 30 May 2017

To ask the Scottish Government when it will provide a substantive answer to question S5W-06833, which recieved a holding response on 2 March 2017, and what the reason is for the delay.

Answered by: Angela Constance 5 June 2017

Our records show that that the answer to question S5W-06833 was provided to Parliament on 7 March 2017. The original answer has been replicated below.

In 2016-17 Scottish Government funding in the region of £40 million of will be made available for two distinct purposes:

specific project funding to support the provision of independent advice to individuals on income maximisation and the exercising of civil rights. In
2016-17 £22,110,310 of funding is being provided for 169 providers for advice-related projects and to Scottish Health Boards for development of Carer Information Strategies. A list of funded organisations and the amounts received in 2016-17 has been lodged with the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Bib. number 58524).

payments to solicitors to deliver legal advice on civil matters through the statutory Advice and Assistance (A&A) provision, a form of Legal Aid. This advice includes advising whether there is a legal case to take forward, negotiating a settlement, and writing letters on the applicant’s behalf. A&A will not usually cover representation in court although a type of A&A - ‘Assistance By Way of Representation’ (ABWOR) is available in some circumstances to allow a solicitor to represent their client in proceedings. For Civil Advice and Assistance, budget provision of £20 million has been made in 2016-17. This is a demand-led budget so it is not yet possible to say what the total actual expenditure for 2016-17 will be. However, actual expenditure for 2014-15 and 2015-16 has been set out in the following table for comparative purposes.

 

 

Actual Expenditure

2014-15

2015-16

Civil Advice and Assistance

£13,576,000

£13,488,000

Assistance By Way of Representation

£ 4,815,000

£ 5,104,000

Total

£18,391,000

£18,592,000

 

Investment in the provision of advice services is made across the Scottish Government as part of a strategic commitment to build a fairer nation and tackle deprivation, poverty and inequality. The information provided above is the best available at this time drawn from a review that the Scottish Government is currently undertaking of its support to advice services. The review to date has collated information on spending in 2016-17 but has not sought historical information.

Budgets for 2017-18 are still being finalised therefore no further information on future spending can be provided at this time.