An Audit Scotland report has concluded that the Scottish Government “does not have a clear understanding” of the key things needed to deliver welfare benefits to 1.4 million claimants.
As the Scottish government prepares to take over control of 11 benefits from the UK government auditor general Caroline Gardner said that while the Scottish government had done a “good job” delivering the first two benefits, its second phase of delivery included the most complex and highest risk benefits.
She also highlighted the difficulties that Social Security Scotland had encountered employing adequately skilled staff, both in project management and in IT.
The report follows a Westminster debate led by Borders MP, John Lamont, who said: “This independent report highlights spiralling costs and a failure by the SNP to properly consider what it is trying to achieve. It also shows the Scottish Government is paying the DWP millions of pounds to administer the benefits they have been demanding.
“People in the Borders will rightly be concerned that the Scottish Government might not be ready to take on control over these benefits and that the benefits system in Scotland will suffer.
“It is astonishing this is in such a mess, given that the SNP have spent the past decade criticising the UK Government’s welfare policies.”