The Scottish Government has been ordered to pay costs for the court case which forced the postponement of its controversial named person scheme until next year.
Campaigners against the proposal to allocate every Scottish child a named person to look after their welfare claim the SNP administration may face a £500,000 bill for the legal action. The five judges who ruled the scheme a breach of human rights earlier this year have issued an order requiring the government to pick up the bills.
According to NO2NP (No to Named Persons), its members who took the case against the legislation have estimated costs of £250,000. Assuming the Scottish Government has a similarly sized legal bill, the total amount required to be paid by the administration would come to £500,000.
NO2NP spokesman Simon Calvert said: “The government has been hammered on costs. This is a total and utter vindication of the legal action that we were involved in, and underlines how deeply flawed this illegal scheme was. The Scottish Government argued we should pay our own costs. But the judges disagreed, awarding us our costs, further proving that we have been right all along.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The policy aim of providing a Named Person service has been judged by the Supreme Court to be entirely legitimate. The Supreme Court’s ruling requires changes to be made specifically to the information sharing provisions of the 2014 Act. The nature of the ruling means that it is likely that Scottish ministers may incur costs at a level yet to be determined.
“Ministers remain absolutely committed to the named person service and the Deputy First Minister updated parliament outlining how the government is working towards the implementation of the service. We will engage with key partners across public services, the third sector, parliament and the wider public throughout the process as we make the necessary changes to the legislation.”