CLYDEBANK and Milngavie’s MSP 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.
Gil Paterson MSP has praised the actions and reiterated their opposition to Universal Credit.
He said: “One of the major complaints about Universal Credit is that it increases difficulties to manage a household budget.
“The new UC Scottish choices allows claimants to return to a benefit delivery similar to their former arrangement.
“I am relieved the new options are available because it will help people from falling into poverty and debt.
“Later this year, UC will arrive in West Dunbartonshire, which makes these SNP government payment options very important.
“Already, we’ve seen success in East Dunbartonshire and nationally with the UC Scottish choices, which has been trialled since October 2017.
“The rollout of UC is something I remain strongly opposed to, in particular the six week wait for the first payment, which is causing hardship and rent arrears.
“This is but another example of where the Scottish Government under the SNP is alleviating the damage done to our social security system by the Tory UK Government.”