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Consultation on a draft Bill and options for challenging decisions made by Local Authorities on applications to the Scottish Wel

The Scottish Government has published the full responses to the Scottish Welfare Fund: Consultation on a draft Bill and options for challenging decisions made by Local Authorities on applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund from organisations and individuals who have given their permission for their response to be published.

The Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) was introduced from April 2013 on an interim basis using local authorities’ (LAs’) Powers to Advance Wellbeing and based on ministerial guidance developed in partnership with COSLA, LAs and others. It provides help to vulnerable members of the community in a financial emergency, and support to get household goods to set up home or remain at home and provide a safe and secure home environment, reducing the need for care.

This consultation is the first step in the legislative process. It includes a draft Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill to underpin the basis of the SWF and seeks views on which elements of the current ministerial guidance for the SWF should be set out in regulations and which in statutory guidance. It also seeks views on options for independent scrutiny of decisions made by LAs on applications to the SWF. This is usually called “second tier review”.

Informed by the outcome of this consultation, Scottish Ministers intend to introduce a Bill into the Scottish Parliament in 2014 that will include the basis for independent scrutiny of LA decisions. Again informed by this consultation, the Bill will be followed by regulations and statutory guidance that will set out the operational detail of the Fund.

The consultation ran from 15 November 2013 until 7 February 2014.

For full details see the Scottish Government website.

Further Information

Scottish Welfare Fund: Consultation on a draft Bill and options for challenging decisions made by Local Authorities on applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund – responses