A local politician has demanded that the UK Government fixes the problems with Universal Credit before they roll it out in Renfrewshire later this year.
During questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Gavin Newlands, who represents Paisley and Renfrewshire North, criticised Esther McVey MP for failing to heed the warnings about Universal Credit.
Mr Newlands demanded the Secretary of State fixes Universal Credit before it’s launched in Renfrewshire this September.
Universal Credit, which going to replace six separate income related benefits has been blighted with problems since it first started to be rolled out in areas across the UK in 2013.
To help mitigate the potential problems with the rollout of Universal Credit, Renfrewshire Council is having to allocate £800,000 to support people affected by it.
Mr Newlands, said: “The roll-out of the UK Government’s Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster since the first pilot programme started in areas across the UK.
“Despite the various problems with Universal Credit that lead to serious hardship, the UK Government have arrogantly pushed ahead and failed to take the necessary action to fix its most serious faults. Some of the most serious problems include families having to wait up to six weeks to receive their first payment.
“It will concern many that Universal Credit is due to go live in Renfrewshire in September, despite all the problems that still exist with it. In their most recent budget, the SNP Administration at Renfrewshire Council has allocated £800,000 to mitigate the worst problems arising from Universal Credit.
“It’s not fair or right that our local council is having to commit resources to protect people as much as possible from the worst aspects of Universal Credit. This is the responsibility of the UK Government and instead of ignoring the very serious warnings, they should finally take the necessary action and fix the problems with Universal Credit.”
Universal Credit, introduced in 2013, will eventually replace six means-tested benefits and tax credits: income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, income based Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support.