Benefits are slightly lower in Scotland

I have been looking at the Scotland Analysis in more detail, and a short extra note may be worth making.  One of the headline figures in this document is that Scotland will need to pay very slightly more in benefits than the rest of the UK does – £3335 per capita against £3275 for all the UK.  However, Scotland has relatively more claimants in most categories, and that seems to imply that those claimants may be getting less in benefits than the rest of the UK.  It turns out, from page 31, that this is indeed the case.  A proper calculation would have to be made on the basis of claimant households rather than claims, but taking rather crudely the amount of money paid out, and dividing it by the number of claims, it turns out that roughly £150 pa less is paid for each claim from pensioners, £400 pa less for each claim from people of working age.  The difference is mainly attributable to higher rents in the south (so that Housing Benefit has to be higher) and to higher Tax Credits.

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