Dan Peters 02 October 2017

Scottish councils join call to halt rollout of Universal Credit

Scottish councils join call to halt rollout of Universal Credit image

The Scottish Government and councils have joined forces to demand a halt to the full service rollout of Universal Credit.

In a joint letter to work and pensions secretary, David Gauke, Scottish social security minister Jeane Freeman and community wellbeing spokeswoman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Kelly Parry, highlighted a number of ‘abject failures’ with the system.

They also presented new figures from COSLA showing the damaging impact in those areas where full service rollout has already taken place.

Some councils have reported that the average level of rent arrears for tenants in receipt of Universal Credit is at least 2.5 times higher than those tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

Ms Freeman said: ‘The Universal Credit system is fundamentally flawed and causing unnecessary hardship and suffering to families across Scotland.

‘It is vital that the UK Government addresses these failings and that the rollout is halted until problems are fixed.

‘Universal Credit is failing the people it is designed to support. The in-built six week wait for the first payment, which is often even longer, is unacceptable and pushing people into crisis and rent arrears, having to rely on food banks and emergency payments to get by.

‘Despite the clear evidence, the Department for Work and Pensions still refuses to acknowledge the severity of the problem. This incompetency cannot continue.

‘It is time UK ministers faced up to the facts, and stepped up to support people and stop the rollout of a failing system.’

Ms Freeman will use a Scottish Government debate on Universal Credit tomorrow to call for a halt to the rollout until the system’s problems are fully addressed.

Work and pensions secretary, David Gauke, has committed to pressing ahead with Universal Credit despite growing opposition.

LGPS: Unlocking infrastructure image

LGPS: Unlocking infrastructure

Pension funds can play an important role backing useful projects such as railway infrastructure, water companies and green energy. Mark Whitehead met a man whose organisation invests local government pensions constructively.
Maximising tech spend image

Maximising tech spend

David Beggs calls on local government to take a much broader view of technology to get the most value from it.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Personal Advisor – Leaving Care Team

London Borough of Bexley
£25,809 - £28,215 (plus Essential Car User Allowance currently £846 pa)
You will work within the Leaving Care team which is part of Bexley’s Looked After Children and Permanence Service. Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Social Worker – Children with Disabilities

London Borough of Bexley
£32,517 - £41,934 inc benefits
Do you think you have what it takes to join our team of excellent and dedicated social work professionals? Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Child and Family Support Worker - Supervised Contact Service

Essex County Council
£20200.0 - £26275.0 per annum
The primary role for a child and family support worker based within the Contact Service is to supervise, support and facilitate contact primarily bet England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Residential Worker - Longwood Place

Essex County Council
£20200 - £26275 per annum
This is a permanent part time 21 hours a week position. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, England, Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Development Services

Tewkesbury Borough Council
£59,433 - £65,802 (SM6)
This post is a key part of the management team, supporting the corporate agenda and working across a broad portfolio to shape and deliver... Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Tewkesbury Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue