STRATHKELVIN and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay has praised Scottish Government additional options to how Universal Credit (UC) is delivered to claimants.
The new UC Scottish choices, or The Scottish Flexibilities, will give people the choice of twice monthly payments of UC and the housing benefit paid directly to their landlord.
The SNP government is making use of the Scotland Act (2016) administrative powers to change payment arrangements for UC in relation to whom and the time when the benefit is paid.
UC is reserved to the UK Government and delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions. It is a single monthly payment which replaces six other benefits if a person is out of work on or on a low income.
East Dunbartonshire has had UC since November 2016 but the benefit is still being rolled out across Scotland, with full coverage expected by December this year.
Rona Mackay MSP has praised the actions and reiterated their opposition to Universal Credit.
Ms Mackay said: “Universal Credit is helping to create additional poverty and debt among constituents of mine, so I remain resolutely opposed to it.
“But I am glad the SNP government is managing to use what limited powers it has over social security to offer a different way of receiving the benefit.
“The one single payment at the start of the month is just not a workable system for some – and many would prefer we stick to the way landlords are paid directly by the government.
“Last year it was revealed by East Dunbartonshire Council that 92 per cent of council tenants on UC were in rent arrears, while crisis grants have risen sharply.
“Once again, the Scottish Government is using what limited powers we have to make up for the chaotic changes to social security pushed through by the UK Tory government.”
Rent arrears: https://www.kirkintilloch-herald.co.uk/news/mp-backs-call-for-a-halt-to-universal-credit-disaster-1-4587422