A new power for Scotland

I didn’t learn about this as soon as it happened, but a draft Statutory Instrument has been put to Parliament covering the particular hole I’d identified earlier this year. The instrument makes it possible for Scottish authorities to make provision for

occasional financial or other assistance to or in respect of individuals for the purposes of —
(a) meeting, or helping to meet, an immediate short term need—
(i) arising out of an exceptional event or exceptional circumstances, and
(ii) that requires to be met to avoid a risk to the well-being of an individual, or
(b) enabling qualifying individuals to establish or maintain a settled home, and “qualifying individuals” means individuals who have been or, without the assistance, might otherwise be—
(i) in prison, hospital, a residential care establishment or other institution, or
(ii) homeless or otherwise living an unsettled way of life.

It’s always difficult to know how specific provisions will work out in practice, but it should prevent the kind of administrative lock-up that I feared might otherwise happen. I’m greatly relieved.

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