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Universal Credit Rollout Could Leave Claimants Penniless Over Christmas


People signing-up for Universal Credit could end up struggling to make ends meet over Christmas.

Patricia Gibson is urging the UK Tory Government to postpone the rollout of the new benefit to avoid delays during the festive period.

Pointing to previous waits of up to six-weeks, the introduction of Universal Credit should be pushed back until the new year.

A recent Citizens Advice survey of 800 claimants in trial areas found 39% were waiting six weeks for the first payment and 57% were forced to borrow cash.

Patricia Gibson said:

"The SNP has long considered Universal Credit to be detrimental for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society. There is a real worry that its further roll-out at this time will cause severe hardship, exacerbated by the financial burdens of the festive period.

"Universal Credit was supposed to make the social security system simpler, more reactive to an individual’s issues and more efficient.

“However, evidence from where it has been introduced already shows it is making many of the poorest people in our society even poorer.

“The current timetable will almost certainly cause severe hardship over the months which are most financially difficult.

"If the Tories are determined to roll this flawed system they at least hold back in November and December, but look to a date later in 2018.”

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