Universal Credit payments in Inverclyde are to become more frequent and adaptable, as new social security powers are set to be used by the Scottish Government for the first time.
Tenants will have the choice of having the housing element of Universal Credit payments made directly to landlords. This new flexibility will be available for tenants in the private rented sector as well as those in social housing.
The use of new flexibilities around Universal Credit payments – the benefit remains reserved – marks the first use of new social security powers under the Scotland Act 2016.
Commenting, Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan said:
“The Scottish Government has a proven record of taking action to protect the vulnerable in our society.
“A number of constituents have raised concerns with the problems DWP’s current monthly payment system can cause for budgeting.
“I am delighted therefore that the Scottish Government is able to address these concerns and go further, by extending the direct payment option to tenants with private landlords, and deliver these flexibilities for people in Inverclyde, and across Scotland.
“The new social security powers that the Scottish Government will get, allows us to build a much fairer, more dignified and respectful system and move away from the callous and demeaning service imposed by the Tories at Westminster
“We have seen the negative consequences of the cold-hearted, uncaring policies that the Tory government has inflicted on social security claimants across Scotland. This is contrast to the SNP’s commitment to overhaul the disability benefits assessment process and to ensure long term awards for long term conditions.
Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan added:
“I’m pleased to learn the Scottish Government is to make universal credit payments more frequent as this issue was raised with me at a recent meeting with Children Poverty Action Group in Scotland
“Alongside this, the news that tenants will have the choice of having their housing element payments made directly to landlords is a sensible solution which should help prevent rent arrears occurring.
“I recently had the opportunity to meet with Jobcentre Plus staff to undertake Universal Credit awareness training, as the system is now live in Inverclyde. They informed me that the Future Skills direct line can be contacted on 01475 788 915.”