‘THEY ARE PICKING THE POCKETS OF THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE’ – CLARE ADAMSON MSP SLAMS UK GOVERNMENT UNIVERSAL CREDIT PROPOSALS
SNP MSP for Motherwell & Wishaw, Clare Adamson, this week called for the roll out of Universal Credit in Scotland to be halted during an impassioned speech at the Scottish Parliament. Speaking in a debate last week, Adamson described the proposals as a ‘human catastrophe facing the citizens of our country’, echoing the United Nation’s damning assessment of the proposed system.
Ms Adamson visited the pilot scheme in the Highlands in 2015 and described her grave concerns over the sustainability of the system being implemented by the UK Government at Westminster. The pilot reported that 80-90% of those in Universal Credit were in rent arrears with an average arrears figure of over £1000. It was worse for those in temporary accommodation, where the average rent arrears was £2100. These rent arrears were due to delays with the administration of Universal Credit.
The scheme has been condemned by 24 charities including Citizens Advice Scotland, Oxfam, Shelter Scotland and Poverty Alliance, who have written a joint open letter calling for the roll-out to be halted.
Universal Credit aims to merge six existing benefits into one – including housing benefit, tax credits and Employment Support Allowance. A survey by the charity Citizens Advice found that over a third of people are waiting more than six weeks for their first payment, over 10% were waiting more than 10 weeks and 3 in 5 were having to borrow money while waiting for their first payment.
Commenting, Ms Adamson said:
“These proposals will only push people who are already struggling further into debt and poverty”.
“The issues with Universal Credit have been apparent since the pilot scheme in 2015. The Tories are happy to watch their colleagues in Westminster pick the pockets of the Scottish people as the Scottish Government tries to mitigate the damage caused by the cuts coming from London.”
“I am calling on the UK Government to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit. Please wake up and see this potential disaster for what it is”