Welfare Tax Credits: Scotland

HM Treasury written question – answered on 9th November 2015.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Scottish Parliament/Scottish Government Liaison), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it is proposed for welfare payments made by the Scottish Government, provided for under any Act arising from the Scotland Bill, to count as income for the purposes of calculating tax credits.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary

The Smith Commission agreement, agreed by all the main parties in Scotland, set out those benefits where power should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Tax credits were not amongst those benefits.

However, under the current Scotland Bill clauses, the Scottish Government will have the power to top-up tax credits, as long as it does so through using its own resources. The Smith Commission agreement said that any new benefits or discretionary payments introduced by the Scottish Parliament must provide additional income for a recipient and not result in an automatic offsetting reduction in their entitlement to other benefits. Once the Scottish Government have been clear about how they want to use their new powers, we will work with them to understand the interactions between the reserved and devolved benefit systems.

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