Grave concern about Universal Credit

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South Ayrshire Council is asking the UK Government to pause the roll out of its controversial Universal Credit.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to extend Universal Credit to parts of South Ayrshire early next year.

Until December 31, 2017 Universal Credit applies only to working age single people in South Ayrshire who make a new claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance. Claimants from any other postcode area will need to check other benefits entitlements between January 1, 2018 to February 6, 2018, before making a new claim for Universal Credit.

At their last meeting councillors supported the motion by Councillor Peter Henderson that “South Ayrshire Council inform the DWP, UK Government and Scottish Government, of our grave concern of the impact that the roll out of universal credit is having on individuals and council services due to the delays in payment to constituents”.

Councillor Henderson pointed to: “The misery and hardship caused, stress and demands on vital services due to the inefficiency and mismanagement of the implementation of the system by the Department of Work and Pensions. The changes announced in the Budget do not go far enough to stop the genuine distress and anxiety that is and is continuing to be caused.

“The fact that waiting times are reduced to five weeks will only be introduced in February, the advances system in January and additional support for housing support in April, ensures that the winter will indeed be miserable for recipients.

“This council is calling for a pause in delivering the system until it is fit for purpose.”