Date lodged: 11 September 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what the budget is for Universal Credit (Scottish choices), and how much has been spent, broken down by (a) staffing costs, (b) communications, (c) payments to the DWP for (i) the flexibilities take up, (ii) training and (iii) implementation, and (d) other costs.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 26 September 2018
Universal Credit (UC) Scottish choices do not have a separate budget line in the Social Security budget. Costs are contained within the allocated budget for the Social Security Directorate. This includes all staffing and communications costs associated with UC Scottish choices.
The Scottish Government paid £529,785.58 to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in April 2018 for one-off implementation costs which included changes to the UC IT system and updates to DWP staff guidance and training.
The Scottish Government estimates ongoing operational costs to be up to
£0.4 million in 2017-18; and up to £1.6 million in 2018-19. The Scottish Government will only pay for the actual number of UC Scottish choices offered and taken up. We expect to receive an invoice from the DWP shortly, based on actual take up rates covering the period 4 October 2017 (when the choices were first made available) to 31 March 2018.