Date lodged: 12 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the statements in its position paper on Short Term Assistance, for what reason it decided to use the civil legal test of "balance of probabilities" to determine whether to reduce or stop an individual's payments during a fraud investigation, and whether it considered using the criminal legal test as part of this decision.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 21 March 2019
The Scottish Government has chosen to propose a “balance of probabilities” test in determining when to stop providing assistance, where it suspects fraud, as an appropriate level of protection to the public purse.
We believe that it would be disproportionate to apply a stringent criminal test to benefit decisions