Funeral poverty and Smith Commission

Care + support1The Smith Commission Report, released today, could impact on funeral poverty and social fund payments in Scotland.

Funeral payments are likely to fall under control of the Scottish Parliament, though Bereavement Payments are set to stay with Westminster.

If it is adopted, powers over the some welfare benefits will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. These include benefits for carers and current Regulated Social Fund payments – like cold weather and winter fuel payments … and funeral payments.

The Scottish Parliament will have complete autonomy in determining the structure and value of the benefits and any new benefits or services that might replace them.

It would be up to the Scottish Parliament to agree a delivery partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) or to set up separate Scottish arrangements.

The report recommends that the money currently spent on these benefits would be devolved to the Scottish Parliament along with the responsibility for operating the benefits long term. Any savings the UK Government expects to make from no longer handling these benefits – eg the cost of jobs and systems – will also transfer to the Scottish Government. It looks like Westminster would continue to control Bereavement Allowance and Bereavement Payment.

See more from the BBC.

We are keen to help tackle funeral poverty and Final Fling is a member of a national alliance working with Scottish Government on this. See the current Cost of Dying Report to see the scale of the issue.

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