Moray SNP News
UNIVERSAL CREDIT HAS ‘INHERENT FLAWS’ HITTING VULNERABLE SCOTS
Angus Robertson, Member of the Westminster Parliament for Moray, has welcomed the publication of a new report by Citizens Advice Scotland highlighting a series of flaws ‘inherent’ to the design of Universal Credit.
The local SNP MP deals with many constituent cases that relate to problems with welfare support, including Universal Credit.
The Citizens Advice report highlights flaws in the design of the system, problems in its administration and possible future challenges for the roll-out of Universal Credit.
Design challenges include:
• A six-week wait to receive a first payment
• Challenges caused to claimants by a single monthly payment
• The effect of Universal Credit sanctions
• a primarily online system, when around 20% of users struggle to use the internet
Administrative and transitional challenges include:
• Confusion caused by running UC in parallel with an existing legacy benefits system
• Issues with the Universal Credit Helpline, including no Freephone number being available
• Early administrative issues causing delays in claims being processed
• Teething problems with the Real Time Information system from employers
Future Challenges include:
• The impact of numerous changes made to elements of UC by the UK Government’s 2015 Budget and Autumn Statement
• The unknown impact of ‘in-work conditionality’ for claimants
• The devolution of some administrative functions to the Scottish Government
Commenting, Angus Robertson MP said:
“This report highlights serious concerns around both the design and the implementation of Universal Credit – and these come from the real-life experience of the rollout so far.
“SNP MPs continue to highlight these issues with the Government, but there seems to be little desire on their part to change course.
“If the UK Government continues to refuse to listen to the evidence from respected organisations like Citizens Advicce Scotland on the welfare system problems then low-income families here in Moray will needlessly suffer.
“The changes to the welfare system have hit the most vulnerable and left a complete mess. This is in stark contrast to the Scottish Government’s approach, which aims to use our limited devolved powers to put dignity and respect at the heart of social security.
“In Westminster, along with SNP colleagues, I will continue to raise welfare concerns with the Government.”