§ Ms Roseanna Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the costs of creating a separate social security administration in Scotland; and if he will publish the assumptions made in these calculations. 
§ Mr. Timms
Social security is reserved to Parliament and remains a Great Britain-wide scheme. Social security administration is integrated across GB and no detailed assessment has therefore been made of the annual costs of administering the present system separately in Scotland. We estimate that the costs of administering social security, child support and pensions in Scotland to be in the region of £600 million.
The estimate assumes that the Department's fixed costs and the fixed costs of its agencies, including the cost of investing in new computer systems, have to be reproduced 507W separately in Scotland without the benefits of GB-wide economies of scale. It also includes the costs of operating the branch network.